So what happens if we can’t authorise leave due to the pandemic?

So what happens if we can’t authorise leave due to the pandemic?

September 22, 2021

We are now in full on holiday season. You only have to look on social media to see that many people are already away with some lucky things even being abroad!

However, as well as being in late summer, we are also in a global pandemic with no sign that the virus has gone. But promising signs that it is not growing in numbers of new infections.

So, what happens if due to the pandemic, you can’t authorise leave?

Back at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the Government amended the Working Time Regulations to allow for up to 2 weeks leave to be carried over to the following holiday year. It was felt at the time that this was a direct response to pressures being placed on the public sector (councils/hospitals) rather than private sector employers.

Well firstly you have to decide whether your actions are reasonable and on what grounds?

When considering whether it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take leave as a result of coronavirus, so that they may carry untaken holiday into future leave years, an employer should consider various factors, such as:

  • whether the business has faced a significant increase in demand due to coronavirus that would reasonably require the worker to continue to be at work and cannot be met through alternative practical measures.
  • the extent to which the business’ workforce is disrupted by the coronavirus and the practical options available to the business to provide temporary cover of essential activities.
  • the health of the worker and how soon they need to take a period of rest and relaxation.
  • the length of time remaining in the worker’s leave year, to enable the worker to take holiday at a later date within the leave year.
  • the ability of the remainder of the available workforce to provide cover for the worker going on leave.

It’s considered best practice that employers do everything reasonably practicable to ensure that their employees can take as much of their leave as possible in the year to which it relates.

Carrying forward is to be avoided. If it is unavoidable then employees should be given the opportunity to take the holiday at the earliest practicable opportunity.

There’s more information regarding the carrying over of leave here>>>Learn more 

If you have any questions relating to holiday, please do not hesitate to call us on 01527 909436.


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