Annual Holiday Entitlement

Which country gets more holidays, Australia or Britain ?

Minimum Entitlements: (edited to update information 7th April 2010)

  • UK – Total Leave entitlement
    • 28 days total : 20 Annual leave + 8 Public Holiday
  • Australia – Total Leave entitlement (Specifically calculated for Queensland)
    • 31 days total: 20 Annual leave + 11 Public Holiday ( or 35.33 days if the 4.33 days Long Service leave is included).


28 Days per year Holiday Entitlement **(Including Public Holidays)

You do NOT have a right to carry leave over, but if you don’t take all of your statutory holiday entitlement during your holiday year, your employer may allow you to carry over the leftover days to the next holiday year.

** You do not have a statutory right to paid leave on bank and public holidays. If your employer gives paid leave on a bank or public holiday, this can count towards your minimum holiday entitlement.


Annual leave eligibility:

An employee is entitled to:

  • 4 weeks annual leave for each 12 months of service; or
  • 5 weeks annual leave for some shift workers for each 12 months of service.

This doesn’t apply to casuals who get a higher hourly rate of pay to compensate.

Under the National Employment Standards (NES), an employee’s entitlement to annual leave accrues progressively during a year of service according to their ordinary hours of work and accumulates from year to year.

Long service leave:

Long service leave is currently still governed by state and territory laws, although will become under the NES at some stage.

The current Act provides that all employees in Queensland are entitled to long service leave, the entitlement to long service leave is 8.6667 weeks on full pay after each period of 10 years continuous service.

Therefore in a 10 year period there is a total entitlement to 48.66 weeks holiday, or an average of 24.33 days per year.

Public Holidays

In addition** to the above will be all the Public Holidays in each Country.

Queensland, Australia for example in 2009 receives 11 days as follows:

  • 01-Jan-09 New Year’s Day
  • 26-Jan-09 Australia Day
  • 10-Apr-09 Good Friday
  • 11-Apr-09 Easter Saturday
  • 13-Apr-09 Easter Monday
  • 25-Apr-09 Anzac Day
  • 04-May-09 Labour Day
  • 08-Jun-09 Queen’s Birthday
  • 12-Aug-09 Royal Queensland Show
  • 25-Dec-09 Christmas Day
  • 28-Dec-09 Boxing Day

England, UK, as far as I can see gets 8 days. ** (This can be included in the 28 days mentioned above – see comments below)

  • 01-Jan-09 New Year’s Day
  • 10-Apr-09 Good Friday
  • 13-Apr-09 Easter Monday
  • 04-May-09 Early May Bank Holiday
  • 25-May-09 Spring Bank Holiday
  • 31-Aug-09 Summer Bank Holiday
  • 25-Dec-09 Christmas Day
  • 28-Dec-09 Boxing Day


  • UK – Total Leave entitlement
    • 36 days total : 28 Annual leave + 8 Public Holiday  (** or just 28 days total : 20 Annual leave + 8 Public Holiday)
  • Australia – Total Leave entitlement (Specifically calculated for Queensland)
    • 35.33 days total: 20 Annual leave + 11 Public Holiday + 4.33 days Long Service leave.

Sick Leave

Sick leave is a type of personal leave under the National Employment Standards (NES).

Under the NES full time and part-time employees are entitled to 10 days’ paid personal leave (for sick and paid carer’s leave) per year. Paid personal leave accumulates from year to year.

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The UK information is incorrect, as the 28 days are allowed to include the public holidays (see your link above for basic information); which basically means that you get 20 days free holiday plus 8 days public holiday to give 28. Hence 20 is the real minimum (for a 5 day week), as I and countless others know. Twenty is standard practice; some employers offer more, say 25, but that is at their discretion.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x