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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I am having a really hard time booking annual leave. I work

Resolved Question:

Hi. I am having a really hard time booking annual leave.
I work as a mental health advisor for a UK university. I gave 6 months notice to take 11 working days off work between October 26th and Nov 9th to celebrate an important birthday.
After months of my request I asked for a decision as I have to pay my deposit. It was
at this time I was declined with a reason stating service provision would be affected.
I was unable to deal with this informally with my line manager so I put in a grievance. My main points are:
- Service provision will not be affected as there are up to 20 other members of my team able to cover in my absence. There is one other mental health advisor however she is off long term sick currently.
- I have no appointments booked at the moment so I will not be letting students down. I had one walk in crisis appointment during the same period last year.
- My line manager had a week off during Autumn term last year and although she stated it was to see her family and have a holiday they are now saying this time was agreed due to personal reasons that apparently are not comparable to my own special leave request.
- I gave 6 months advanced notice and only received a decision when I pushed due to payment requirements.
- There is no mention of a blanket ban on annual leave in my contract and I was not made aware of this ban on accepting this post.
I would appreciate any help and guidance you can give.
I appreciate annual leave is at my managers discretion however I believe I have considered service provision as well as my own needs. I have not made this decision lightly and I do feel it's a special request that I won't make for another 10 years.
I have had problems with my manager in the past and have had to have meetings with HR, them and my union representative. I can't help but feel this is tit for tat treatment. Other members of the team are treated very differently to me and others who are clearly not our managers ' favourites'.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Yours sincerely,
Demi
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello have you raised a formal complaint about this?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have submitted a formal grievance as per university policy and procedure.
After considering my grievance they have denied my leave request after speaking with my manager who again has stated service provision will be affected which I do not agree with.
I can appeal but this is my last chance. I'm not sure what to do.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. The issue here is that the law will be against you I’m afraid. The Working Time Regulations 1998 deal with the right to take and grant annual leave. To be able to make a formal request for annual leave a worker is required to give notice to the employer that is at least twice as long as the leave to be taken. In your example you want to take 11 days so you must apply for this at least 22 days before the leave is due to be taken. However, at the same time the employer has a legal right to reject your request without having to provide a reason, by giving you notice equal to the leave requested. So in the same example they can reject your request by telling you of their decision a least 11 day before it is due to be taken. So regardless of the factors you have listed, the employer has the legal right to reject your request even if there would have been no adverse effects on the business whatsoever had they allowed you to take this leave. The only times they may not be able to do this is if the reasons for their decision were discriminatory and this includes things like age, gender, race, religion, disability etc. Inly if you were treated less favourably on one or more of these grounds will you have a potential case – without this, I am afraid the employer has the unconditional right to decline your request subject to giving you the required notice.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your help and guidance. I will recommend you to others.
Best wishes,
Demi
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

You are welcome, all the best

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