One big headache for employers and managers is working out holiday entitlements for new workers.

Let us explore this area to answer your questions.

When does annual leave start to accrue? What is the holiday entitlement during the probationary period?

Annual leave begins accruing as soon as the worker starts work with you. This means that the right to annual leave is not dependent on the completion of a probationary period.

How soon can employees take leave in their first year?

During the first year of employment, employers may decide to use an accrual system to calculate the worker’s holiday entitlement. In each month, the worker will have the right to one twelfth of their leave. Therefore if the worker wants to take leave within the first few weeks, they may need to wait a bit before they have accrued enough days.

Do they need to provide notice?

Unless otherwise specified in their Contract of Employment or Employee Handbook, the employee should provide you with notice which is at least twice as long as the leave that they are requesting. So if they request one week of leave, they should provide you with at least two weeks of notice.

What about pre-employment booked holidays? Must they be honoured?

Before an employee even begins work, it is common for employers to ask whether they have any holidays booked in and to try and accommodate these requests as best they can.

However, there is no legal duty imposed on employers to respect holidays booked before employment and it may not always be possible to let them go on leave on the proposed dates. For example, there may be times when two or more employees in the same team have those dates booked therefore it is not viable for you to allow a third worker off at the same time as you need to ensure business needs and customer demands are fulfilled. Equally, there may be workplace rules which mean they can’t take those days off – employers may make employees take annual leave at certain times of the year or ban them from taking leave at particularly busy periods.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, speak to your Employment Law Adviser for guidance and support.

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We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

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