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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I am currently serving in the Royal Air Force and am

Resolved Question:

Good Evening,
I am currently serving in the Royal Air Force and am recently about to apply to leave. I have been told that I must give a minimum of 12 months notice. However this seems to be against the law as the maximum period of notice is 12 weeks.
Do you have any further information on this? I have been serving for approx 7 years.
Thanks
Kevin
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Do you know if there any exceptions to this notice period?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not that I know of, no.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. I think you are getting slightly confused with the notice periods because the maximum 12 week notice period which you refer to is in relation to notice due on termination of employment, which has nothing to do with holidays. There is no maximum notice period for taking holidays. The law on taking holidays is governed by the Working Time Regulations but this only really applies to workers and as a service member of armed forces you are not a worker or an employee and as such will not be covered by these rules anyway. You will be governed by the force’s own rules in this respect and if they state that you must give 12 months notice then I am afraid you would have to adhere to that.

Just for reference, the law says that as a minimum a worker must give notice that is twice as long as the holiday requested (e.g. 20 days notice for 10 days holiday). However, the employer can reject that as long as they give the worker notice that is at least as long as the holiday requested (10 days notice in the same example). So an employer could have a policy which states workers must give a minimum notice period for requests and if they do not, the employer could simply use the above rules to reject their request, which they can legally do without giving any reasons.

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I originally joined it was 6 months notice which they then increased to 12 months without discussing it with me. Is this an avenue I can pursue?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Was this contained in any formal document?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not that i'm aware of and nothing that I was ever shown. They just seem to make up their own mind and the things that the Ministry of Defence do is practically criminal in my opinion.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Well this is far from criminal behaviour and it is not really illegal anyway. Whilst you could try and rely on the fact that the notice period initially stood at 6 months, strictly speaking there is nothing stopping them from changing this as their needs dictate. It is unfortunate, probably immoral but not illegal and that is sadly what actually matters. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it does, thanks. Bad situation to be in but that's the MoD for you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Yes I am sorry it was not more positive news but unless there is discrimination (which there isn't) they can call the shots such as in this case

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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