Holiday Rights

What are your holiday rights?

Holiday Rights

  • What are my rights on a public holiday/ bank holiday?
  • Can my employer stop me taking my holidays?
  • Can my employer force me to take my holidays?

Holiday Rights

As of 1st October 2007, all workers are entitled to a minimum of 4.8 weeks paid holiday a year under the Working Time Regulations. This may include bank holidays. This will increase to 5.6 weeks from 1 April 2009. You may have a more generous holiday entitlement from your employer under your contract of employment.

What are my rights on a public holiday/ bank holiday?

You have no statutory rights to be off work on a public holiday or bank holiday.

Your contract of employment may give you an entitlement to public holidays and bank holidays, either providing time off or extra pay. However, you should check your contract. If public holidays and bank holidays are not recognised and you choose to take them as holiday these will be deducted from your annual holiday entitlement.

Can my employer prevent me taking holidays?

You can request when to take your holiday. Employees should give a period of notice which is twice the length of the period of leave. This will not guarantee acceptance of the holiday, however, employers can waive this period at their discretion. However, employers can refuse individual requests by giving you notice equal to the holiday being requested not to take the holiday at a certain time. An employer can also restrict holidays at certain times of the year.

Can my employer force me to take holidays?

Your employer can specify which weeks are to be taken as holiday. Your employer can also direct you to take holidays, if they require. However, the employer must give notice. The period of notice is twice the length of the period of leave. Therefore two weeks notice must be given before enforcing a one week period of leave.


This information is intended as a general guide and does not constitute legal advice. To find out if this information is relevant to your situation, please contact your Branch Secretary or call the member service centre on 0800 389 6332