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I Don't Have Enough Leave For Christmas and New Years

What happens if you've just started a job in the last three months and you don't have enough leave to cover the Christmas and New Years period when your employer will close down their business? 

Image by Waldemar Brandt

source: unspalsh

You are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave once you have worked for the same employer continuously for 12 months. This means that you are basically entitled to take one week of leave every three months. So if you have only been working for your employer for one three months then you will only have one weeks worth of leave available to use


Currently the Holidays Act makes no mention of taking leave in advance, which means that it is at the discretion of your employer. Most employers will allow their employees to leave in advance and the employee will show a negative leave balance until they have worked through it.


Being more cynical or critical 

Easily irritated by co-workers 

Impatient with co-workers or customers

Less productive than normal

Taking more sick days 

Complaining of physical pains such as head or stomach aches

In some cases though you may have to leave without pay or some other form of leave as agreed with your employer. 


Some situations where you may not be entitled to leave, aside form not continuously working for your employer for 12 months include:


Having worked for  their employer for 12 months but haven’t reached entitlement for annual holidays because they have taken  unpaid leave of more than one week and this has moved out their anniversary date for annual holidays entitlement and


you have had a period of receiving pay for annual holidays on a pay-as-you-go basis.


If either of these apply to you then:

  • you must get paid 8% of your gross earnings as at the closedown date from:

    • the start of your employment if they haven’t worked continuously for 12 months for your employer, or

    • your last anniversary date for annual holidays if you have already worked for your employer for at least 12 month, less any amount already paid as 8% pay as you go or already taken as annual holidays in advance,

  • in addition:

    • you may agree with your employer that you can take some annual holidays in advance

    • Your  anniversary date for annual holiday entitlement purposes is moved to the date the closedown starts (or in some situations, an alternative date close by as nominated by your  employer).

If your work is subject to a regular annual closedown, and you have not become entitled to annual holidays at the time of the closedown, your employer can nominate a date that will be treated as the date that the closedown starts. This date will be the date the you become entitled to annual holidays each year regardless of your actual start date of employment or the actual date of the start of the closedown. This date however must be reasonably connected to the timing of the regular annual closedown.

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