Should an employer insist that holiday is taken?


Employees have the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks' annual leave. If the employer does not give them a reasonable opportunity to take the leave, or encourage them to do so, employees can carry forward four weeks of their untaken holiday into the next leave year. So, if employees do not request their holiday, employers should encourage them to do so, to avoid them building up a significant entitlement to be taken in following years, or paid in lieu on termination.

Employers do have a duty to take reasonable care of the health and welfare of their employees and it is good practice for employers to encourage employees to plan and take their holiday entitlement in each annual leave year. A claim for damages arising out of an accident at work or work-related stress could turn on evidence of the employer's failure to ensure that the worker took the holiday and rest breaks to which they were entitled.