Is your workforce building up substantial untaken annual leave?

Is your workforce building up substantial untaken annual leave?

Only yesterday Portugal was moved on to the amber list and so with ongoing international travel restrictions, a general nervousness about travelling, the poor UK weather and carry-over of leave from 2020, this may culminate in your employees having more accrued but untaken annual leave than usual.

  • HR should liaise with line managers to ensure that they encourage staff to take a portion of their leave over the summer, if at all possible. We all need time to relax and recharge.
  • A stricter approach can be taken requiring employees to take leave on specified dates or to book a certain amount of leave during a particular period. This approach would work particularly well if you know that the summer months are quieter for your business.

For example, if you know that customer demand is always down in July and August, you could require all employees to book at least two weeks’ annual leave in those months.

Your business may suit a summer shutdown, whereby all or most employees are required to take leave at the same time over the summer.

Employers can designate specific periods as annual leave, as long as they give the correct notice to employees. This is notice that is at least twice the number of working days that you are requiring employees to take.

If there is concern about a substantial build-up of untaken annual leave across the workforce, caused by the effects of the pandemic, employers can make use of the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 26th March 2020.

These Regulations allow up to four weeks’ annual leave to be carried over into the next two holiday years where it has not been “reasonably practicable” for employees to take it as a result of the effects of the pandemic.