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, plus 1 day. For example, a worker would give 3 days’ notice for 1 day’s leave.

An employer can refuse a leave request or cancel leave but they must give as much notice as the amount of leave requested, plus 1 day. For example, an employer would give 11 days’ notice if the worker asked for 10 days’ leave.

If the contract says something different about the notice a worker or employer should give, what’s in the contract will apply.

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

Part leave days

Some workers may be entitled to a part leave day - for example 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 cannot be taken

Employers can:

  • tell their staff to take leave, for example bank holidays or Christmas
  • restrict when leave can be taken, for example 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. The employer must tell the worker before the notice period begins.

If an employer wants a worker to take leave, they need to make sure that the worker can relax, rest and enjoy leisure during their holiday. For example, an employer cannot force a sick worker to take leave.