4. Booking time off

The general notice period for taking leave is at least twice as long as the amount of leave a worker wants to take (eg 2 days’ notice for 1 day’s leave), unless the contract says something different.

An employer can refuse a leave request but they must give as much notice as the amount of leave requested, eg 2 weeks’ notice if the leave requested was 2 weeks.

Although employers can refuse to give leave at a certain time, they can’t refuse to let workers take the leave at all.

Part leave days

Some workers may be entitled to a part leave day - eg if they’re part-time or have a half day’s leave to take. How a part-day should be taken is up to the employer.

When leave can and can’t be taken

Employers can:

  • tell their staff to take leave, eg bank holidays or Christmas
  • restrict when leave can be taken, eg at certain busy periods

There may be rules about this in the employment contract or it may be what normally happens in the workplace. The notice period for this is at least twice as long as the leave they want their staff to take.