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Holiday Entitlement Guide for Employers: Use it or Lose it?

Holiday Entitlement Guide for Employers: Use it or Lose it?

Date: 18th February 2020 | By: Claire Malley | Categories: Employment law, Holiday Pay

holiday entitlementFor many businesses the end the end of the holiday year falls in line with the end of the financial year and subsequently over the next month or two you may receive increased requests for holidays as staff try to use up any outstanding holiday entitlement.

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Holiday Entitlement | Use it or Lose it?

But what about those staff who, through no fault of the business, haven’t used up their annual leave?

This is a policy adopted by many businesses and while this practice is permitted, employers have some work to do to demonstrate they have done what they can to encourage and remind staff to take their leave.

Case law suggests such steps may include:

  • Specifically and transparently giving the worker the chance to take their holiday.
  • Encouraging the worker to take leave.
  • Informing the worker accurately of their holiday entitlement and informing them that if they do not take the leave by the end of the holiday year then they will lose the remaining balance.
  • Records of the above instructions should be held on file in the event evidence of such steps is needed.

When it comes to carrying leave forward, four weeks leave must be taken in the year it has been provided for. Additional leave (a minimum of 1.6 weeks) may be carried forward into the next holiday year with the agreement of both parties.

Allocating holiday to suit business needs

Employers are also able to allocate annual leave to employees providing the correct notice is given. Notice must be double to the period of leave to be taken. For example, in order to instruct an employee to take one weeks’ leave, two weeks’ notice must be provided. This may provide an alternative solution for employers wishing to ensure staff take the leave they are entitled to when holiday requests are not forthcoming from the individual.

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