The last bank holiday before Christmas is nearly upon us and everyone wants to make the most of it before the schools return and we drift into autumn.
It’s not surprising to hear, then, that data from HR software firm, BrightHR, found that today, the Friday before August bank holiday Monday (23rd of August), is the most popular day for employees to book leave and it has been for the last three years.
So what happens if all your staff want that day off – can you reject their holiday request?
Alan Price, CEO and HR expert of BrightHR commented: “Over the past few weeks, employers across the UK have been bombarded with holiday requests for the 23rd of August with many worrying if they approve all holiday requests from workers they will be understaffed during the bank holiday weekend.
“Although the Working Time Regulations 1998 instructs that all employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave a year, employers are under no obligation to accept all leave requests. It is down to the discretion of the employer when their workforce takes annual leave, meaning you are well within your rights to refuse a request for leave if it clashes with other employees.
“However, It is important to remember that all employees place great significance on their leave entitlement and refusal can often be met with annoyance.
“In these situations, business owners should ensure that no employee is receiving preferential treatment. A strong ‘first come, first served’ rule should be implemented, ensuring an open and fair policy that allows all employees the chance to request leave for the same period.”
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