Dayna Rodrigues

Solicitor

DATE PUBLISHED: 13 Nov 2023 LAST UPDATED: 24 Jan 2024

Can my employer make me take holiday on certain days?

Unfortunately yes; under regulation 15 Working Time Regulations 1998 your employer may require you to take leave or not to take leave on particular days. Your employer must however give you sufficient notice before the relevant date, specifying the days on which leave is or is not be taken and its’ duration.

If your employer wants you to take leave on certain dates, they must give you twice as much notice as the leave requested e.g. if they want you to take 5 days’ off, they must tell you 10 days before Day 1 of the leave period.

If your employer does not want you to take leave on certain dates, they must give you as many days’ notice as the leave requested e.g. if they do not want you to take 5 days off, they must tell you 5 days before Day 1 of the leave period.

This regulation does not apply to agriculture workers in Wales or Scotland unless otherwise agreed.

What about bank or public holidays?

Your employer is not required to give you paid annual leave for bank or public holidays. This could however be included as part of your annual leave allowance.

The next bank holiday in England and Wales is Christmas Day. You can check other upcoming bank holidays in England and Wales here.

How do I check how much holiday I have?

Your contract of employment should contain details about your holiday entitlement.

If you do not think you have a contract of employment, you are legally entitled at the very minimum to a statement of written terms, under section 1, Employment Rights Act 1996. Whilst a statement of written terms may not be as detailed as a contract of employment, it must include details about your holiday allowance and holiday pay.

Under Regulation 13, Working Time Regulations 1998, most full time workers are entitled to 28 days’ paid annual leave per leave year. Your employer decides when their ‘leave year’ begins and ends ie. when your holiday allowance resets every year.

If you start work part way through the holiday year, your entitlement will be adjusted proportionately. You can find a holiday entitlement calculator here.

If you resign or are dismissed, you are entitled to be paid for any holiday you have not taken for that leave year, up to the date your employment ends. This is currently the only instance in which you can be paid in lieu of holiday, although the government has proposed to introduce rolled-up holiday pay, this is only currently a proposal in their Smarter Regulation to Grow the Economy publication.

Under Regulation 13, Working Time Regulations 1998, if you were not able to take some or all of your holiday allowance in a leave year due to coronavirus, you may be entitled to carry this outstanding holiday allowance forward provided you use this in the 2 years immediately following the leave year in which you were meant to take that holiday.

What if I’m an apprentice?

You are entitled to a minimum of 20 days’ paid annual leave per leave year, in addition to bank holidays.

Whilst you may not have a contract of employment, you should have an apprenticeship agreement. This agreement should include details such as your working hours, holidays, pay and the training you will receive.

If you have employment concerns, or would like a free health check of your workplace policies and contracts, contact our Employment Law Team on 01202 525333 or by email at employment@ellisjones.co.uk.

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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