With the summer in full swing, many of us are dipping into our annual leave allowance. Whether it’s to provide childcare for the kids while they’re on summer holidays, going on vacations, or family days out in the sunshine, summer is a time when most of us take time off work.

For employers and employees alike it’s important to understand holiday rights and entitlements.

Details of an employee’s entitlement should be found in their contract upon starting work or in a written statement of employment particulars. A written statement must be given to employees no later than two months after their start date.

However, throughout your employment your role may have changed and developed meaning that you could be entitled to more annual leave.

How much annual leave are you entitled to?

In general, full time workers have the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. To work out what you are entitled to, simply multiply the number of days you work each week by 5.6.

Within the statutory entitlement, employers can include the eight UK bank holidays that take place each year. This leaves a minimum of 20 days per year annual leave, excluding bank holidays, for full time employees.

Can my employer deny holiday leave?

The notice that an employee must give their employer varies from company to company. However, if not disclosed in the contract, the default notice period is twice as long as the period of leave requested.

Employers can refuse any holiday request that is not in the business’s best interests and has the right to inform employees what parts of the year holidays cannot be taken or when a limited amount of holiday will be available.

It is in the employer’s best interests to state in their contracts that employees shouldn’t arrange holidays until the annual leave request is approved. This cancels out the possibility of employees using the excuse that the holiday is already booked.

Can I carry over any unused holiday?

In ordinary circumstances, statutory annual leave cannot be carried over to the next year but it is down to the employer and what is stated in the contract.

If it is not stated in writing, employees can agree with their employer to carry over a maximum of eight days (if they receive 28 day’s leave).

Employment law specialists

If you are unsure about your holiday entitlement or want to bring a claim for holiday time being denied, get in touch with our employment solicitors.

For further advice use the telephone numbers below: