Q&A - Boss refuses to let me have four consecutive weeks’ holiday. What can I do?

Q: I got married in August this year but we delayed our honeymoon as we wanted to visit my wife’s family in Australia and the wedding cost so much that we needed to a chance to save again. We looked at going for Christmas but it was too expensive, so instead we decided to go out for our first anniversary. The problem is my employer is refusing to let me have four consecutive weeks off work. Is there anything I can do?

A:  Whilst everyone with a permanent contract is permitted to take 28 days paid leave per year, other than bank holidays and public holidays which are fixed your employer needs to approve any other holiday dates you request and does not have to agree to you taking four consecutive weeks. He should however tell you why he is refusing to agree to the dates you have requested. 

If his refusal is based on a belief that your absence for such a lengthy period would have an adverse effect on the business and its ability to service its customers it is unlikely that you would have a case for argument. You could however find out whether he has allowed any other employees to take four consecutive weeks off in the past. If he has you could claim he was acting unreasonably by refusing you the same arrangement and you could raise a formal grievance. It would be advisable to seek advice from an employment solicitor first though. 

Employers are generally more likely to agree to a one-off longer than usual holiday if it is not at a peak holiday time when other staff are off. Perhaps you could consider asking for the time off other than during the main summer holiday period?

Article 16/12/2019

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Partner and Complaints Handler

Partner and Head of the Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Wrexham