Annual Holiday Entitlement 
This subject raises a lot of questions and can be confusing. Disputes about holiday leave are common. 
Here are a few common questions we get asked. 
Can I carry over annual holiday entitlement? 
As we reach the end of the year many people may not have used their holiday entitlement and therefore would like to carry this over to the following year. 
It is possible to carry over leave, but it is up to the employer to decide how many days they will allow, and this should be added in the contract along with the holiday booking policy. 
How much holiday entitlement do I have? 
If you are an employer, it is important that the holiday entitlement is very clear in the employees’ contract. The number of days they are entitled to should be detailed and the dates of the holiday year period. For example some companies run 1st January – 31st December and some April-April. 
Booking your annual leave
There might be certain days and times of the year when leave will not be allowed. Many employers need a certain amount of notice for your leave. The general guideline is a minimum of four weeks’ notice for two weeks leave; however, it is important the notice required is stated in the contract as some companies may require more notice in order to arrange staff cover. 
Can my employer refuse a request for holiday? 
Employers can refuse a request for leave, providing they give at least two weeks’ notice for a two-week holiday request. The contract should also state how much holiday can be taken at any one time. Many companies limit leave to a maximum of 14 days at any one time, however some companies offer more flexibility and might be able to you the option to take more. 
Always book your holiday dates with your employer before booking a holiday and paying a deposit! If your holiday request gets denied you could end up facing costs to change your holiday, so don’t take the risk! 
Are bank holidays included in my annual leave? 
With regard to Bank Holidays there is no automatic right to paid leave. An employer can choose to include these as part of statutory annual leave. 
Can I be made to take holiday at certain times by my employer? 
Yes you can! Remember that some companies may require employees to take leave at certain times, such as Christmas, bank holidays or an annual shut down so ensure this is clear in the contract. 
I started mid way through the holiday year - how do I know how much holiday leave I can take? 
You start to accrue a holiday entitlement from the day you start your job. You can use this online calculator to work out how much leave you will be entitled to by entering the information about your start date and leave entitlement it will work this out for you. Got to 
How do I avoid disputes over holiday leave with staff? 
Be clear in the contract from the start! 
Clarity in the employees’ contract is vital to ensure they are fully aware of when leave can be taken, how much notice is required, how much can be taken at any one time and whether leave can be carried over. This avoid confusion and makes the company policy clear from the outset. 
Keeping track of annual leave 
There are a number of online programmes you can use to manage annual leave or for smaller companies a simple excel sheet can be used. Make sure there is a request form, signed off by the relevant person in the business and keep a copy on file. For larger companies using an online programme such as Breath HR or Kiss Flow will help manage staff holidays and keep track of the number of days staff are owed.  
Special circumstances  
There will always be situations where an employer may have to decide whether a special provision should be made, for example in the case of family illness, bereavements or an emergency and this is down to the discretion of the employer. 
Need more help dealing with annual leave issues? 
Contact us or check out this information on the ACAS website  
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