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Holiday notice requirements

Holiday Pay and Overtime Update: 26 June 2015

Read latest from Acas about overtime and holiday pay judgement

Employers and employees can agree how and when to give notice of when leave is to be take. But in the absence of any agreement the notice period should be at least twice the period of leave to be taken. So for example if a week's leave is requested then two weeks' notice should be given.

Employers may place restrictions on when holidays can be taken, these restrictions may be stated in the contract of employment, implied from custom and practice, or incorporated into individual contracts from a collective agreement. However, although restrictions may be placed on when leave can be take, employers cannot prevent employees from taking their four weeks holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations.

Employers may choose to:

  • Shut down for a certain period where workers have to use their annual entitlement, such as a two week shut down for the summer holidays;
  • Nominate particular dates as days of closure when workers are expected to take annual leave;
  • Determine the maximum amounts of leave that can be taken on any one occasion and also the period when leave may be taken;
  • Determine the number of workers who can be off at any one time.

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