Can employers require workers to take holiday while on furlough?


This confirms that workers who have been placed on furlough continue to accrue holiday and can also take holiday.

Holiday is paid at 100% of what they would have been paid when taking holiday during normal times (so including overtime, bonuses and commission if applicable).

The employer can still reclaim 80% up to the maximum limit of £2,500 per month.

It also confirms that employers can require workers to take holiday, in accordance with the existing right under the Working Time Regulations. To do so they must give the worker twice the amount of notice for the holiday period, so two weeks notice to take one weeks holiday. Noting that this Monday is a bank holiday, employers would only need to give two days notice if they wished employees to take it as holiday, or the holiday can be deferred if not taken.

The guidance does how state that employer’s “should consider whether any restrictions the worker is under, such as the need to socially distance or self-isolate, would prevent the worker from resting, relaxing and enjoying leisure time, which is the fundamental purpose of taking holiday”. The ACAS guidance suggests it is a good idea to discuss why holiday might need to be taken, listen to any concerns and remember it is a difficult time for both employers and employees.

Employers can also cancel a worker’s holiday by giving them the same notice as the length of the planned holiday.

If you wish to discuss this further, please contact us.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/holiday-entitlement-and-pay-during-coronavirus-covid-19#taking-holiday

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