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Avoiding holiday headaches

Posted on: September 20th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

If you’re facing a build-up of colleagues with untaken leave, whether because of restrictions on travel or a busy trading period, here are a few things to consider. 

Covid carry-over – rules were relaxed to allow employees to carry over 5.6 weeks’ holiday subject to their written agreement. If you haven’t secured their written agreement, only four weeks’ holiday can be carried over if it wasn’t ‘reasonably practicable’ for the employee to take holiday for reasons connected to coronavirus. Take advice on what’s considered ‘reasonably practicable’.

Reluctant holiday-makers – you have the right to require employees to take holidays by giving them twice as much notice as the holiday you require them to take (or whatever is in their contract).

Communicate – if you have a build-up in the final months of your holiday year, communicate early how you’d like employees to approach booking their time off during that period.

Buy-back – if you have a generous holiday scheme meaning it’s even more of a struggle for everyone to fit in their holidays, you could always offer to buy back holidays (provided that in doing so you don’t take the employee below statutory minimum holidays of 5.6 weeks).

Rest and recharge – encouraging employees to take a break throughout the year gives employees an opportunity to recharge and is a health and safety requirement under the Working Time Regulations.

If you need advice or support in managing potential holiday headaches, Intelligent Employment is here to help – find out how.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (21 September 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.