Although the detail of the regulations is still the subject of consultation, it is almost certain that with effect from 1 October 2007 the statutory minimum right to paid annual leave will be increased from 4 weeks/20 days for an individual working a 5 day week to 28 days.

This change is made in response to trade union pressure to give everyone the right to 8 UK bank or public holidays, addition to the basic 4 week entitlement.

Many employers already give their employees a minimum of 4 weeks plus 8 bank holidays, but it is estimated that there are up to 6 million workers who will benefit from the change in the law.

The proposal is to phase in the right to an additional 8 days, so that an additional 4 days will be due with effect from 1 October 2007 and the balance from 1 October 2008.