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Holiday Entitlement; Coronavirus

What are your Holiday Rights and what happens if you return from another country and need to quarantine 




In most situations, employees and workers should use their paid holiday ('statutory annual leave') in their current leave year.


Holidays help people to;

  • get enough rest
  • keep healthy, both physically and mentally 


Being flexible about holiday during Coronavirus

Employers, employees and workers should be as flexible as they can about holiday during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Form an understanding by discussing;

  • any plans to use or cancel holiday during coronavirus as soon as possible
  • why holiday might need to be taken or cancelled
  •  listening to any concerns, either from staff or the employer
  • alternative ideas for other options
  • everyone's physical and mental wellbeing
  •  being aware that it's a difficult time for both employers and staff


If you're a furloughed worker

Employees or workers who are temporarily sent home because there’s no work ('furloughed workers'), can request and take their holiday in the usual way, if their employer agrees. This includes bank holidays. 

Furloughed workers must get their usual pay in full, for any holiday they take.


Carrying over holiday

During the coronavirus pandemic, it may not be possible for staff to take all their holiday entitlement during the current holiday year. 

Employers should still be encouraging workers and employees to take their paid holiday. Employees and workers should also make requests for paid holiday throughout their holiday year, if possible. 

The government has introduced a temporary new law allowing employees and workers to carry over up to 4 weeks' paid holiday into their next 2 holiday leave years. 

This law applies for any holiday the employee or worker does not take because of coronavirus, for example if;

  • they're self-isolating or too sick to take holiday before the end of their leave year
  • they've had to continue working and could not take paid holiday

They may also be able to carry over holiday if they’ve been 'furloughed' and cannot reasonably use it in their holiday year. 

Some employers will already have an agreement to carry over paid holiday. This law does not affect any agreements already in place. 

If an employee or worker leaves their job or is dismissed and has carried over paid holiday because of coronavirus, any untaken paid holiday must be added to their final pay ('paid in lieu'). 





Previously booked holidays

An employee may no longer want to take time off they'd previously booked, for example because their hotel cancelled the booking. Their employer can insist they still take the time off, but it's good practice to get agreement from the employee. 

If the employee wants to change when they take this time off, they'll need to get agreement from their employer.


Requiring staff to take or cancel holiday

Employers have the right to tell employees and workers when to take holiday. 

They cannot do this, however, for any employees or workers who are on;

  • sick leave
  • family leave, for example maternity leave

Employers can also cancel previously agreed holiday dates, but must give notice of at least as many days as the holiday period previously booked, so for a 5 day holiday, they must give at least 5 days’ notice of cancellation.  


Please Note: These are difficult times for both employees and employers and compromise and discussion are the best way to address issues which may be arising for the first time in the experience of either party. If in doubt, we suggest you contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for further information.


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