Does an employer have to agree to an employee's request to cancel a booked period of annual leave?

Once an employee has booked a period of annual leave, the employer is not obliged to agree to a request by the employee to cancel it (unless there is a relevant agreement in place that gives employees the right to cancel leave). However, the employer should take into account the needs of the business, and the employee's personal circumstances and reasons for wanting to cancel the leave. The employer should agree to the cancellation where this would not cause it significant inconvenience, but if, for example, it has arranged cover for the employee, or arranged shift patterns on the basis that the employee would be on leave, and it would be difficult to change the arrangements, it may decide to require the employee to take the annual leave as booked.