Holiday entitlement & Covid-19 – have you finalised your strategy?

29 October 2020

As you’re aware, the Government has amended the Working Time Regulations to allow employees who have been prevented from taking their basic four-week annual leave entitlement to carry over that leave for up to two years. Where it is not reasonably practicable for employees to take their full entitlement this year, therefore, they will be able to defer their remaining leave to next year.

The additional leave of 1.6 weeks must still, however, be taken in the current holiday year. 

The regulations also make it clear however that the employer can only defer the employee’s request to take annual leave where it has ‘good reason’ to do so. While a rush in demand for leave towards the end of the year may well satisfy this requirement, the employer should make every effort to accommodate requests for leave where possible.

We’re seeing a number of different approaches being taken by clients - according to their industry/sector/specific business needs.  However, in the main, the common themes are as follows:

  • Encouraging employees to take regular annual leave through the COVID pandemic – both for individual wellbeing purposes, but also for business reasons (not storing up disproportionate holiday entitlements for later in the year or for a later date when businesses are operating closer to ‘normal/the new normal’)
  • Allowing employees to ‘carry over’ more annual leave days than is usual – ranging from 5-15 days in the following ‘annual leave year’ (10 would appear the most common approach)
  • Consideration as to whether to introduce / amend holiday purchase/selling schemes

If you would like to discuss your employee benefits further, please contact our dedicated team using the button below.


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