Holiday policy


This holiday policy sets out employees’ entitlements to annual leave and the Company rules on taking annual leave. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employees are entitled to minimum 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave in each leave year. This entitlement includes public holidays. 

5.6 weeks of annual leave will convert into different entitlements for each employee dependent on their individual working arrangements. Individual contracts of employment will detail an employee’s personal entitlement. For example, 5.6 working weeks leave will, by the nature of their working week, convert to fewer days or hours of annual leave for a part time employee when compared to a full time employee. The pro-rata principle may also apply to other practical arrangements. 

All leave must be pre-authorised by the Company. Taking leave without authorisation will be considered a gross misconduct offence. Taking leave despite a declined request will be considered a gross misconduct offence. Gross misconduct offences may result in dismissal without notice. Further rules on booking leave from work are given below.

The Company’s holiday year runs from [insert start month] to [insert end month]. 

Booking leave

Employees must give notice of their request to take leave. Applications should be sent to [delete as appropriate - their line manager in writing/using the online holiday request forms/the HR department]. 

The following notice periods which apply to employees when requesting leave are as follows: 

Period of leave requested

Period of notice required 

A week or more (five days or more)

[insert time period]

Less than a week (one to four days) 

[insert time period]

The [delete as appropriate - line manager/online holiday request system/the HR department] will notify the employee in writing to confirm whether their request has been granted. 

Employees should not make any firm travel or accommodation arrangements etc until they have received written confirmation that their request for leave has been granted. There may be circumstances where the Company cannot grant the request, such as operational/staffing requirements. The Company is not liable for any loss incurred by an employee, such as lost deposits etc, if they incur costs and make commitments prior to receiving confirmation.

There may be more requests than usual for leave that coincide with school holidays/half terms, due to the number of employees with children of school age. The Company will make every effort to accept as many of these requests as possible, but has to have regard to its operations and ensuring there is sufficient cover for all work to be undertaken, considerations which sometimes need to take priority over granting all these types of requests. 

Company requirements

The Company may reasonably require an employee to take annual leave without prior notification for reasons which will be explained to the employee at the time. 

The Company operates an entire shut down each year between [insert details] and requires all employees to take annual leave to cover this period of time. This period is not in addition to annual leave entitlement so employees need to retain sufficient annual leave to cover this period. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that sufficient annual leave entitlement remains each year to take during this period. Employees who do not have sufficient entitlement remaining should speak to their line manager about other available options. 

The Company may ask an employee to cancel any previously agreed leave. There may be various reasons for this, such as operational or staffing issues, or business commitments that require the employee’s presence. The Company recognises the inconvenience that this may cause an employee and, therefore, understands that the employee may refuse this request.

The Company will make a decision on whether, where the cancellation is agreed and the employee suffers a financial detriment eg lost deposits etc, the employee is to be reimbursed. 

[Optional- if company does not shut down on public holidays] Public holidays 

Due to the needs of the business, it may be necessary for an employee to work on a public holiday. Where this happens, employees will be entitled to take a day’s leave at another time in the leave year to be agreed with the line manager in accordance with business needs. 

Holiday pay

During annual leave, employees will receive their normal pay.


The calculation of holiday pay can be tricky when employees work according to atypical patterns. Where pay varies, holiday pay is usually calculated by taking an average over the previous 52 weeks in which work was carried out, or the number of weeks the individual has worked for the company if this is less than 52. Rolled up holiday pay (where an additional element representing holiday pay is added to pay for each hour worked) is technically unlawful. Employees may alternatively receive a payment for accrued leave at the end of each assignment rather than being represented as an hourly uplift. 


Calculating annual leave entitlement may also be complicated for employees who work ad hoc hours. One suggested method calculates accrual of leave entitlement on the basis of 12.07% for every hour worked. 

New starters and pre-booked leave 

During the recruitment process, prospective employees may be asked whether they have any leave booked that would take place after commencement of employment. If the individual is recruited, the Company will normally allow such leave to be taken. 

The rules on accrual of annual leave may mean that the employee has not, at the time that leave is to be taken, accrued such length of leave to cover their holiday. In this case, the employee and the line manager will agree how any time off in excess of accrued leave will be covered. 

It is Company policy not to permit leave within [insert time period] of commencement of employment unless leave was pre-booked before employment commenced. 

Holidays and sickness 

The normal sickness notification procedures will apply to an employee when they are on leave and wish to reallocate the period of leave as sickness with the result that reconvened leave may be taken at another time in the leave year. Where the required notification is made, the Company may permit those days to be classed as sick days and equivalent time off taken as paid leave later in the leave year provide the leave falls within the statutory minimum entitlement. The days on which the leave is to be taken must be agreed with the Company.

Employees who are on an overseas holiday when they fall sick should contact the Company as soon as reasonably practicable.

Family leave

Employees may become entitled to either maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave. Family leave is in addition to the employee’s statutory 5.6 weeks of annual leave. 

Annual leave will continue to accrue during periods of family leave and, as part of a pre-leave meeting that will be arranged between the employee and their line manager, a discussion will take place covering the taking of annual leave around family leave. 

Untaken annual leave 

The Company encourages employees to use all of their leave entitlement each year so that they have the opportunity to rest. Employees should ensure they take at least four weeks annual leave in each leave year. 

Ordinarily, untaken leave cannot be carried forward into the next leave year and will be lost. Approval must be sought from [delete as appropriate - employee’s line manager/HR department] if an employee wishes to carry forward any annual leave into the next leave year. The line manager has sole discretion to permit or decline this, subject to the provisions on sickness below.

If sickness means that an employee cannot take their full leave entitlement in a leave year, the employee may be able to carry forward some of the leave to the next leave year. This is usually limited to a maximum of four weeks leave, minus any leave already taken (including public holidays).

Ordinarily, the Company will not permit payment in lieu of annual leave unless exceptional circumstances apply. In every case, payment in lieu of the statutory minimum entitlement will not be permitted.

Termination of employment 

When employment terminates part way through a leave year, the employee’s leave entitlement will be recalculated on a pro-rata basis. This will determine the amount of leave the employee would be entitled to, for the period of service during the leave year. 

Any outstanding leave accrued but untaken will be paid to the employee in their final pay. This is subject to the right of the Company for the employee to take their outstanding leave during their notice period. Otherwise, the amount due for outstanding leave will be added to the employee’s final pay. 

If the employee has exceeded their pro-rata entitlement to holidays at the time they leave their employment, this will be classed as an overpayment and an amount to cover this will be deducted from their final pay, subject to the maximum that their final pay permits.

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