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Introduction to this document

Reminder to take holiday

To be able to rely on statutory provisions enabling accrued but untaken annual leave to be lost if it’s not taken in the current holiday year, you must have given your workers the effective opportunity to take that annual leave and this includes actively encouraging them to do so and diligently warning them in good time of the risk of losing it at the end of the holiday year.

Active encouragement

You don’t have to force your workers to take their annual leave, but you must ensure they have the opportunity of doing so, and this includes actively encouraging them to take it and informing them accurately and in good time of the risk of losing it at the end of the holiday year if they don’t. The burden of proof is on you to show you’ve done this. If the worker then deliberately declines to take their annual leave, in full knowledge of the consequences, they’ve no statutory right to carry it over. They would then only be able to carry their annual leave over in exceptional circumstances, e.g. long-term sickness absence or maternity leave, or where they’ve a contractual right to do so or you’ve otherwise expressly agreed to it being carried over.

Use our Reminder to Take Holiday to encourage your workers to use their outstanding annual leave entitlement before the end of the current holiday year. To ensure you’re warning your staff in a timely manner, issue our letter around three months before the end of your holiday year, so that they still have plenty of time to take their outstanding entitlement.