1. The boss can tell the staff when they must take leave
Under the Working Time Regulations an employer can require employees to take days of their annual leave by giving notice. There are rules about how long and in what form the notice should be given.
2. Contracts/handbooks can over ride these rules and give bosses additional rights to specify when leave may be taken?
Despite the fact that many staff don’t read their contracts or handbooks, properly written (and issued) contracts can give bosses additional rights
3. A ‘holiday year’ defaults to the anniversary of an employees start date?
If you don’t have any written holiday rules, then each employees ‘holiday year’ starts on the day they started work. It is well worth while having a holiday year so everyone’s leave can be calculated over the same period.
4. The boss has the right to refuse holiday requests for unsuitable dates?
Although bosses can’t refuse all leave requests so that no-one can have any holiday they can say no to dates that are inconvenient, impractical, etc.
5. Staff on long term absence such as extended sick leave and maternity leave continue to accrue holiday while they are away and can carry statutory holiday forward from one year to another if their absence spans a change of holiday year (unlike ordinary staff who lose untaken entitlement at the holiday year end).
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy. Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website : www.irenicon.co.uk. You can follow Annabel on twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye