Employers, employees and workers should be as flexible as they can about holiday during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s a good idea to:
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 outbreak, 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 may also be able to carry over holiday if they’ve been ‘furloughed’ and cannot reasonably use it in their holiday year.
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 best 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.
An employer could, for example, shut for a week and tell everyone to use their holiday entitlement.
If the employer decides to do this, they must tell staff at least twice as many days before as the amount of days they need people to take.
For example, if they want to close for 5 days, they should tell everyone at least 10 days before.
Employers can also cancel pre-booked paid holiday. If they decide to do this, they must give staff at least the same number of days’ notice as the original holiday request.
For example, if an employee has booked 5 days holiday, the employer must tell them at least 5 days before the holiday starts that it’s cancelled.
This could affect holiday staff have already booked or planned and cause upset. So employers should:
We hope that you find this information helpful and if you would like more details or to discuss a particular concern then please call us on 0114 225 5891 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.