A couple of months ago I requested 5 days annual leave, and gave my employer the dates. The employer did not acknowledge the request, but sent an automated e-mail a week before the leave was due to start, telling me that the request had been declined. It’s not the first time it has happened, and my colleagues say that this is the normal practice in this workplace. Is it a requirement for the employer to give reasonable notice when declining leave, and if so, what is the minimum period it must give? I have now requested two weeks leave in July (and I can be flexible on the dates), plus the week that was declined in May, and again it has failed to acknowledge the request, or give any indication when I can expect a response. If the company continues this pattern of behaviour I will clearly be forced into taking my annual leave entitlement at a time of the company’s choosing, which has previously not been in whole weeks, but rather random days dictated by the company.
It is legal for a U.K. employer to refuse leave and they must do so the same period before the leave as the amount of the leave. A week for your 5 days leave complies.
They must, however, allow you to take your annual leave within the year. They can dictate when.