12 Nov 2023

How many working days are in one year?

How many working days are there in any given year? Understanding the number of working days in the year is a fundamental aspect of professional life; necessary for calculating salaries, planning projects, and much more. Any employee or employer needs to have a grasp on working days as an integral component of operations, HR, and work life balance – working out when to schedule that dream holiday!

working days in a year

This blog post will answer that question, and dig into the specifics of working days in the UK. Read more for a detailed picture of annual working days and complications that surround them, for both employees and their workers, providing valuable insights for optimal work-life integration.

Deciphering the UK working day

Understanding the number of working days in a year plays a pivotal role in the business landscape. For companies, it’s a cornerstone for efficiently planning tasks, allocating resources, and evaluating productivity. For employees, this knowledge is a window into their work commitments, offering a roadmap to harmonise their professional responsibilities with personal and leisure pursuits.

What constitutes a UK working day?

A typical UK working day runs from Monday to Friday, excluding weekends and public holidays, generally lasting 8 hours within a “9 to 5” schedule. However, the definition of a working day has begun to vary significantly with flexible work arrangements and remote work on the up.

UK working time regulations

UK regulations limit the average work week to 48 hours, provide for rest breaks, and guarantee a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid leave annually. However, if your contract specifies and you agree, there can be adjustment to the number of hours worked per week, and thus potentially a different number of working days in a year. Understanding these rules is essential for maintaining fair and balanced work conditions.

Impact of bank holidays on working days

In the UK, bank holidays are non-working days, reducing the total number of working days. The count of these holidays varies across different UK regions.

Calculating working days in a year

How many working days are in a year?

In 2023, spanning 365 days, there are 251 effective working days after considering bank holidays. In England, there are typically 8 bank holidays a year, however this number can be adjusted if there are any extra public holidays that year. For instance, in 2023, there are 9 bank holidays, due to the coronation of Charles III earlier this year.

How many working days are left in 2023?

Calculating the remaining working days involves deducting weekends, public holidays, and taken and planned leaves. This number will vary based on the specific date of calculation.

Adjusting for bank holidays and leave

Starting with 260, or 251 in 2023, working days and then deducting bank holidays and statutory leaves, the exact number of working days in any given year can be precisely calculated.

Other factors: Leave days, sick days…

In the UK the influence of paid leave and other types of absences on an employee’s total working days is significant. When calculating the number of actual working days, it’s important to factor in not only the standard weekends and public bank holidays but also the paid leave entitlements that employees have.

Additionally, other forms of absence, such as sick leave, maternity or paternity leave, and sabbaticals, also play a role in determining the total number of working days for an individual employee. These types of leave can vary greatly among employees depending on personal circumstances and company policies, adding another layer of variability to the calculation of working days.

Working days for various employment types

The count of working days differs between full-time and part-time employees, depending on contractual terms and pro-rata calculations.

In the UK, full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid leave per year. This total usually includes the 8 public bank holidays, meaning an employee typically has 20 days of annual leave plus the bank holidays. Part-time workers are entitled to the same amount of leave, pro-rated based on the number of days they work per week.

How do you automate your working week?

Calculating the number of working days in a year is a deceptively complex issue. Using an HRIS and payroll platform like Zelt to handle your working calendar can be invaluable as a result. An effective HRIS tool can streamline the calculation of working days, accounting for variables like bank holidays and personal leaves, thus simplifying payroll processing and HR management. These platforms offer accurate, up-to-date information, ensuring compliance with working time regulations and easing the administrative burden on HR departments. Especially for businesses with flexible or non-standard work patterns, having an intuitive system like Zelt helps in efficiently managing diverse working schedules and leave entitlements.


How many working days are there in a year?

In the UK, there are typically around 252 working days in a year, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

How many bank holidays are there in a year?

In the UK, there are usually 8 bank holidays each year in England and Wales, 9 in Scotland, and 10 in Northern Ireland.

What happens if a bank holiday falls on a weekend?

If a bank holiday falls on a weekend in the UK, it is typically observed on the following Monday as a substitute day.