How much notice to take holiday is required from an employee?
An employee must give notice in accordance with reg.15(4)(a) of the Working Time Regulations 1998. The notice to be given must be double the number of days to be taken, and it must be given before the first day of annual leave; eg if the annual leave in question is for a period of five days the notice must be given at least 10 days before the first day of the requested leave.
The Working Time Regulations do not stipulate that notice must be provided in writing.
However, reg.15(5) provides that the notice provisions can be varied or excluded by a relevant agreement (this will usually be by provisions contained in a contract of employment).
Can an employer refuse a holiday request?
Subject to what is contained in the contract of employment an employer may reject an employee's holiday request. Regulation 15(4)(b) of the Working Time Regulations stipulates that an employer can refuse a holiday request on appropriate notice, such notice being the number of days leave to be taken.
For example, to refuse a request for two weeks' annual leave, an employer would need to inform the employee of this refusal prior to two weeks ahead of the start date of the proposed leave. While there is no obligation in the Regulations for an emplo