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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Are employers entitled to cancel holiday that an employee has

Customer Question

Are employers entitled to cancel holiday that an employee has accrued, and refuse to allow them to take holiday they are entitled to in January?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was the holiday request already approved?
Customer : No, it wasn't previously approved. I had 13 days holiday owed to me on 20th dec, and managed to use 8 days from 24th dec to 31 dec. I tried booking a further 3 days from 1st jan to 3rd man, to enable me to stay in London with my friend until 4th when I would return to Worcester to .work a night shift. I called the bank/agency office of nhs professionals, and they would not allow me to have holiday beyond 31st December despite having 5 days remaining. They told me it was not its policy to allow it, and the rest of my remaining holiday would be cancelled after 31st, as explained in email. I said I thought this was totally unreasonable of the company, to not allow its workers not to have time off in January if they choose. I am a bank/agency healthcare assistant, and only get awarded holiday depending on how many hours we work each week. I have since written to them to request that I have these days off but did not reply by 31st, and they have cancelled my remaining 5 days holiday. I also mentioned in my e mail that the friend I am staying with for Christmas has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (Ms), as well as her children having learning difficulties, so have had to look after them. I don't see that this is reasonable to have a policy that states that no-one can carry over part of their holiday into January. People should be able to choose when they take holiday, as no-one would be able to otherwise, as they would not have worked enough hours to enable them to take holiday. I am absolutely disgusted at their attitude to allow me holiday in January. I have earned it and should be entitled to take it when I want.
Ben Jones :

I am afraid that under the Working Time Regulations an employer has the right to refuse an employee’s request to take their holidays on specific days. Similarly they have the right to force employees to take their holidays on days chosen by the employer. So the fact that you have accrued holidays and have made a request to take them on specific dates does not guarantee that you will be entitled to do so. As long as the holiday request has not yet been approved by the employer, they have the right to reject you request and prevent you from taking the holidays on the days you requested. It means that you will have to take them on other days when the employer is prepared to allow you to. Accrued holidays do not mean you can take them when you want to, it will only happen with the employer’s approval, it simply means that you would be allowed to take them at some point in the current holiday year, subject to approval by the employer.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks