I am sorry to disagree with my american based expert friend who is normally spot on.
As a UK employer and employee I can advise you that UK Employment Law does indeed insist that a person working full time for 52 weeks of the year is entitled to 20 days holiday per year but that thry must be taken in that year - it is the Working Time Directive - and you CANNOT take the money in lieu of payment.
If you work 53 weeks and have a right to 4 weeks holiday YOU WILL NOT EARN
56 weeks' money.
Employment law states that whilst you have an entitlement to 20 days paid holiday a year, if you choose to not take it, the employer is not obliged to pay you for it over and above your salary and further, you lose it completely. Some employers have bent the rules a little to allow 5 days to be carried over but this is discretionary.
Now to seasonal work. If you work for 20 weeks in the year, the employer must give you 20/52th of the annual entitlement for permanent workers - they cannot discriminate between permanent and temporary
workers. So if it is 25 days your holiday is 20/52th of 25.
The employer can however insist you you work to a given date of which the last days are not worked and taken as your statutory holiday but he cannot withold pay for the time you have worked part of the year since it is a contractual entitlement.
All UK workers are protected from unscrupulous employers in that they must give you a contract of employment within 13 weeks and if they do not do it and you were to take them to a tribunal then thtry could end up in more trouble. The court would assume reasonable custom and practice. i just hope the employer was paying you as much or more than the minimum wage
for if not again a trip to the tribunal can be had and theb employer can be prosecuted. Finally if thry insist upon you working more than 48 hours a week thry are breaching the Working Time Directive.
So, your holiday entitlement should be very easy to calculate and to be honest a visit to the CAB would be unfair on the CAB since it is so very simple to work out.
Now, if you are a temporary Agency worker however, the employment deal is different. I employ a guy from Hays and he is paid an hourly ratre which is broken down into two. The top line figure in his case id £8.20 an hour but he gets paid £7. something as his hourly rate plus another smaller rate per hour to cover his holiday pay.
Personally, I think it is poor for him since if he takes a day off, he has to take it unpaid and "use up his holiday pay paid weekly in small chunks per hour".
So please check any letters of engagement you have been given to see which category you fit into. If it is the first one, as I think will be the case, then you have a total right to 5/12 of statutory minimun paid holidays of 20 = about 8 or 8.5 days depending on when you started in may. if this employer does not pay you this sum, you can take him to the Small Claims Court Online and claim your unpaid wages.Claim here
This sort of information is only known by people who have worked in the UK and employed staff here. I hope you find this information helpful and correct.
Natasha, York, UK