As the calendar year comes to a close, so does the holiday year for many businesses. If you have been on top of monitoring your employees annual leave, you will know how much unused holiday your employee’s have, if any.

What if you have employees who have not taken their full amount of leave by the end of the holiday year? Is it a case of ‘use it or lose it?’ If you have a policy that specifically states that no holiday is to be carried over to the next year, and you have given the employee ample opportunity to take their leave, the employee may be at risk of losing any remaining days.

It is worth noting that in a recent case in Germany, it was found under the requirements of the Working Time Directive ‘that if a worker does not exercise the right to paid annual leave in any year, leave should not automatically be lost unless the employer has ‘diligently’ brought it to the worker’s attention that leave will be lost, the burden of proof falling on the employer. Employers need not require employees to take leave, but must inform them accurately and in good time of the right’.

We recommend, as with everything, that following the correct policies and procedures ensures there should be no need for this to become an issue.

You can read the full judgement here

Our recommendation regarding annual leave

You may consider reviewing your employee’s annual leave throughout the year, and periodically reminding them if they have outstanding leave. After all, you don’t want half your workforce to book leave during the last month of your holiday year if they haven’t taken time off before then!

We can help with a number of options for managing the annual leave in your business, from putting in place a holiday policy, to providing a platform to make it easier book, approve and monitor the annual leave (and any absence) of your employee’s.

Contact us today to discuss this further.



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