Manage Employee Holiday Leave

Manage Employee Holiday Leave

As a business owner you don’t need to fear the Spring and Summer School Holidays, and the spike in requests for employee holiday leave that naturally occurs.

It is possible to successfully deal with multiple requests for time off, and in this blog Quality HR solicitor Aidan Squire will show you how.

“Employee holiday leave can cause real grief for small businesses,” says Aidan Squire, a specialist HR solicitor at Quality HR in Billericay.  “Get it wrong and it can seriously damage the business at a busy time of year, never mind the impact it can have on customer service delivery, and team morale.”

To prevent any problems this year, and cope with the influx, follow these top tips to manage employee holiday leave.


  • Know your employer obligation

As an employer you must provide 28 days paid holiday for full time workers, but this can include the 8 days Statutory or Bank Holiday days.

There is no obligation to allow holidays on Statutory or Bank Holiday.


  • Set the rules

To avoid employee holiday leave chaos you need to decide how you’d like staff to book and take their holiday entitlement.  Then stick to it.


  • how holidays are to be booked,
  • how many employees can be on leave at any one time,
  • how much holiday can be taken at any one time,
  • criteria that must be applied for allowing holidays when several people are wanting the same time. (The first come first served option is often adopted but it doesn’t have to be).


“Plan in advance”, advised Aidan. “There’s no reason why your business could not plan three, five or even twelve months in advance, and require employees to place requests for holiday leave accordingly”.

“Consider sticking to a first come, first served policy, and cap the number of employees who can take holiday at any one time. This is especially effective for businesses that tend to be busy during the key holiday periods”.

“If you need to go further than that you could consider an annual leave blackout around a busy time, meaning no one can take leave.  Of course, you would still consider leave for special circumstances, but this would be at your discretion.  If you are implementing a holiday leave blackout then it’s sensible to make employees aware from the start, so they’re not caught out later as this would impact team morale.”


  • Have a (properly drafted) contract of Employment or Handbook


By defining your rules in a contract of Employment or Handbook you are ensuring there can be no misunderstanding, and therefore a basis to make employee holiday leave selection without being unfair.


This gives you, and your employees the best possible starting point.  And enables you to establish and maintain a committed and effective work force.


Read more about the importance of a contract of employment in our recent blog >> 




Just £150+vat

Talk to us today >>


About Quality HR – Specialist Employment Law Solicitor

Based in Billericay, Essex, Quality HR is a small and dedicated employment law and human resources solicitors.  With many years’ experience, helping small to medium sized companies in their day to day dealings with their employees.

Our business clients describe our service as unique, friendly and receptive, meaning they don’t have to employ in-house HR staff. Our goal is to help take away the burden of human resource issues through our high standards and extensive experience.

We have a number of affordable options to ensure a service to suit all businesses and budgets, and our approach is proven to achieve the best results for minimum outlay.

For a personal service, practical advice and quick resolution contact us today.  We’re always happy to help.

Leave a Reply