Q. Who is responsible for ensuring holidays are taken?
I was asked this week who is responsible for making sure that all accrued holidays are taken – is it the employer or is it the employee?
The short answer is both of them.
The employee needs to make sure they have enough information about their holidays. They should know:
- exactly what holiday entitlement they have in a year
- what the statutory minimum is
- if they have any contractual holiday over the statutory minimum
- how much holiday they’ve taken to date in the year (and therefore how much they have left to take)
- what happens with any holiday they don’t take in a year, i.e. can they carry it over and if so, how many days
If in doubt, ask!
The employer, on the other hand, is responsible for making sure that they make reasonable decisions about employees’ holiday entitlement, comply with all statutory requirements and communicate their position clearly and effectively.
Here are just some of the questions that an employer should be asking themselves when putting together their holiday procedures:
- How much holiday is each employee entitled to?
- Is any additional holiday going to be given, e.g. as a reward for long service?
- How is the holiday entitlement going to be recorded? (a basic spreadsheet should be sufficient)
- Are employees going to be allowed to carry untaken holiday over from one holiday year to the next? If yes, is there a maximum number of days that can be carried over?
- How much notice is an employee required to give on requesting time off?
- Who is going to monitor holiday entitlement?
- Are holiday records going to be accessible to employees?
- What’s the company policy when a number of days are untaken towards the end of the year – is the employee going to be reminded of the need to take them?
- Can an employee use up holiday during their notice period?
Yes, the employer is responsible for deciding and communicating all of the above but the employee must also take responsibility for ensuring they know exactly what their entitlements are – claiming ignorance is no defence.
For help on managing your employees’ entitlements, records and holiday procedures – contact us.