What would you do if two employees put in holiday requests for the same time?

Download our exclusive comic strips which detail the best way forward.

This edition of SA Law's #LetsTalkHR comic focuses on holiday requests. 


Two employees put in requests for holiday at the same time as each other, they both have important reasons for the request but it is your busiest time of year...what do you do?

Click here to download the comic.

Dealing with competing holiday requests: The law and potential pitfalls

The legal position is fairly clear: employers can restrict when employees take holiday and can also stipulate when employees should take leave. Broadly, both employers and employees must give notice equal to twice the length of the leave requested. If an employer refuses a request they must give as much notice as the amount of leave requested. So an employee wanting to take two weeks off should give four weeks’ notice; the employer must give two weeks’ notice if they wish to refuse the request.

However, it’s important to bear in mind the implied duty of trust and confidence; employers should act reasonably and not turn down requests arbitrarily.

Consistency is also important. If employees request time off for religious or childcare reasons refusing their request could potentially amount to indirect discrimination. To avoid such a claim succeeding employers must show that the refusal was justified. Smooth running of the business is a potential legitimate aim, but the refusal needs to be proportionate in the circumstances. Have alternatives been considered?

Join in on the conversation on Twitter @SA_Law #LetsTalkHR

Read SA Law's latest employment views & insights
SA Law View and Insights books
Views & Insights
Chambers & Partners adds to our good directory news for 2020

Glowing feedback from clients and peers across the board for SA Law's Family, Litigation, Real Estate & Employment teams in Chambers & Partners.

Read More
SA Law View and Insights books
Views & Insights
Success for SA Law in Legal 500 2020

We are delighted to share that we have held our position in all of our main practice areas in Legal 500.

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Are teen influencers being exploited?

Keely Rushmore comments on BBC News about teen influencer Danielle Cohn: What are the employment laws for children under 18?

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Can you force someone to retire?

Gita Patel talks to Personnel Today about retirement policies following a number of recent challenges against Oxford University.

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Welcoming Gita Patel to our employment team

We are delighted to welcome a new member of our Employment Team, Gita Patel.

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Employee wellbeing: Shop workers suffering PTSD after surge in violence

In the unfortunate event of an attack on an employee, it’s crucial that employers ensure the wellbeing of all affected staff.

Read More
Megatrends image
Views & Insights
Managing change: how to drive beneficial progress and get your people on board

Partner and Director of Marketing Julie Gingell writes about change management and how to deal with change in your organisation.

Read More
Join our mailing list

Want our latest views & insight along with exclusive event invitations and much more sent directly to you?

Read More

© SA LAW 2019

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.