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Holiday leave notice: how to manage holiday requests

Holiday leave notice

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR 1998) provide provisions on holiday leave notice for workers and employers. It is also possible to have variations on these provisions in place that suit your business. Find out how much holiday notice is required for an employee booking annual leave and refusing a holiday request in this guide.

Notice for booking holiday leave

It’s a legal requirement for a worker to give notice for taking their statutory holiday. This notice period needs to be at least twice as long as the period of annual leave requested. For example, if an employee wants to take two weeks’ holiday leave, they need to request this at least one month in advance of the start of that holiday.

Notice for refusing holiday leave

An employer also needs to provide notice for holiday to employees when it comes to refusing a request. Note that this is referred to as the employer’s counter-notice. According to WTR 1998, an employer must give notice of at least the total length of the leave period before the date upon which the holiday is due to start. As an example, refusing a five-day holiday would require notice at least five working days before the holiday starts.

If you want to refuse part of a holiday request, the notice required equals the number of days you wish to refuse. For instance, if an employee has requested a five-day holiday but you only want them to take three days of that off, you would need to refuse the remaining days only two working days before the leave commences.

Notice for cancelling annual leave

There may be times when you need to cancel annual leave that you have already approved for an employee. To find out more about the rules for holiday cancellation and how to handle employee relations, read our guide on cancelling annual leave.

Contractual variations

It’s possible to agree alternative holiday leave notice provisions with staff if more suitable for your organisation than those within WTR 1998. Having these rules within a worker’s contract, and a clear and accessible annual leave policy, will help you ensure compliance. This can then reduce the chance of an employee making a claim against you for request refusals.

Manage holiday easily with software

It’s easy to manage holiday requests and automatically calculate holiday pay with myhrtoolkit’s annual leave software feature. Myhrtoolkit provides businesses with:

  • an informative holiday planner
  • self-service holiday requests
  • manager approval settings
  • holiday pay calculations that stay up to date

To find out more about how myhrtoolkit can help you achieve smoother staff management operations, you can contact our sales team to book a quick demonstration of our software. Managing holiday notice and approval has never been so easy!

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