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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75138
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I'm currently on probation, my notice period is one month

Customer Question

I'm currently on probation, my notice period is one month and I have 3 weeks annual leave coming up which has already been approved. I have a new job offer which I have accepted.
1 - If I hand in my notice now, would I be in breach of my contract if I work one week of my notice period and take my 3 weeks annual leave as planned?
2 - Can they cancel my holiday request or ask me to shorten it?
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I started on 27th January. My initial 6 month probation ended on 27th July. It was extended for a month, twice. So I will have worked there for 8 months by 27th September. I am currently still in my probation period as it was extended.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Please can we message instead of call?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. Does the contract say anything about you not being able to take holidays during your notice period/?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
No I have just re-read it and it doesn't mention anything about holidays during notice period - either way.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Thank you. You will not be in breach of contract if you handed your notice in whilst you had some pre-booked holidays. It is entirely legal for holidays to be taken as part of a notice period, unless specifically prohibited by contract.

In terms of cancelling these holidays, an employer can cancel pre-booked holidays, which have already been approved. To do this, they must give the employee notice which is at least equivalent to the days they want them to cancel. For example, if they want the employee to cancel a block of 5 days’ holidays, they must advise them of this at least 5 calendar days before the holidays were due to start. This can be a risky move though as the employer may potentially be liable to compensate the employee for any holiday expenses which had already been incurred, such as flights, accommodation, etc and which cannot be recovered.

On the other hand, if no costs have been incurred, they could still do it, although it is rare for that to happen.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
My 3 weeks of annual leave starts on 20th September and I'm expecting to be able to hand in my notice on Friday 10th September. So could they cancel part of it, perhaps the latter 2 weeks?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

yes they could if they really wanted to. There are over 2 weeks between the 10th and the 27th and that would be sufficient to cancel the last couple of weeks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Ok thank you for confirming.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best