Do we have to permit a request to cancel pre-booked annual leave due to lockdown?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 December 2020
Johanna Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered: Holidays; Coronavirus; Postponing annual leave

Employees do not have a statutory right under the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 2016 or other employment legislation to cancel annual leave requests. Cancellation requests are usually dealt with at an employer's discretion (in the absence of any contractual provision).

Whilst employers do not have to allow employees to cancel pre-booked annual leave, given the unique circumstances of this year it would be sensible to discuss with the employee the reasons for not permitting them to cancel leave or to see if a compromise could be reached whereby an employee is permitted to cancel some of their leave.

From an employee-relations perspective, it is important to ensure that there is an open communication channel with employees particularly throughout periods of lockdown when employees will likely be working from home. 

Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 01/12/2020
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The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Johanna Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Johanna Cunningham. Contact telephone number is Johanna Cunningham or email belfast@arthurcox.com

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