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FRS102: Holiday pay accrual

Holiday pay is being treated slightly differently this year due to the pandemic. The change has arisen as employees may not have been able to use all their holiday entitlement and will be allowed to carry it forward. FRS102 requires entities to accrue for any short-term employee benefits.

A government directive, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, is to allow all employees (not just key workers as originally announced) an extended window in which to take their annual leave. The regulations allow UK employees who have had their annual leave impacted by Coronavirus to carry over up to 4 weeks of their annual leave entitlement into the next years. In effect this allows businesses to avoid a breach in employment law and protects employees’ rights to taking time off.

Known as holiday pay accrual, entities build up accruals for the undiscounted cost of any unused paid annual leave if it is expected to be settled wholly before 12 months after the end of the reporting period.

Short-term employee benefits include items such as:

  • wages, salaries and social security contributions

  • paid annual leave and paid sick leave

  • profit-sharing and bonuses

  • non-monetary benefits (such as medical care or subsidised goods) for current employees

Long term employee benefits are recognised as a cost, as entitlement to the benefit is earned, but due to their long-term nature, they are recognised at their present value. The main change is that unused paid annual leave could now roll over into a period of up to 2 years and become a long-term employee benefit.

The cost of these long-term benefits is recognised in the period that the benefit is earned, but due to their long-term nature, this cost should be measured at the expected net present value of the liability. It is, however, unlikely that the discounting to net present value will be material, and it is not likely to be known when the holiday time will be used, and so the undiscounted amount is likely to be acceptable in practice.


  • Is the entity allowing employees to carry holiday over?

  • If so, how many unused days does this apply to?

  • Estimate when the carried over holiday might be taken

  • What is the cost value of the unused holiday time within the next 12 months?

  • Accrue for the net present value of the unused holiday that might be taken within 12 and 24 months – this will be subject to a discount rate

Where material, additional disclosures will be required including:

  • The nature of long-term benefits provided, the liability recognised and, if applicable, any funding put in place to meet these

  • the accounting policy applied for short-term and long-term holiday pay accruals


  • any significant judgements made – this should include when holiday is likely to be taken


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