UK employers should remind all staff to book any untaken paid leave before the close of the leave year. As made clear by a recent EU court decision, if you fail to send proper reminders, you may not be able to fully rely on any ‘use it or lose it’ policy.
UK workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per leave year (pro-rata for part-time workers).
The new ruling means that the first four weeks of leave will be carried over to the next leave year if the worker does not take them, unless the employer ‘acts with all due diligence’ in encouraging the worker to do so. This is the case even if your staff contracts say something different.
How should I remind staff to take their holiday?
Be proactive, sending clear reminders in good time to your workers, encouraging them to book any untaken paid leave and explaining the consequences of failing to do so by the end of the leave year.
Do this in writing so that you have a record, for example by emailing all of your workers. It is unlikely to be good enough for you to just have a written policy about leave and expect staff to read it.
Employers can still do as they please regarding the carry-over of any holiday beyond the first four weeks, provided they act in line with their obligations under the workers’ contracts and any company policies on taking leave.
Sparqa also provides comprehensive guidance on other key areas of HR, such as hiring and firing staff, working hours, managing staff behaviour, and maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave.
Before joining Sparqa Legal as a Senior Legal Editor in 2017, Frankie spent five years training and practising as a corporate disputes and investigations lawyer at leading international law firm Hogan Lovells. As legal insights lead, Frankie regularly contributes to Sparqa Legal’s blog, writing content across employment law, data protection, disputes and more.