Cover the basics and make sure you are familiar with your company’s policy around booking annual leave. As a general rule of thumb your employer should only need at least twice as long as the amount of leave you are trying to book off. So for example for two day’s leave, you should give at least four day’s notice. If you aren't sure what you are entitled to, you can use this nifty annual leave calculator.

Naturally, spending time off with family and friends is just as important as balancing your work schedule and managing your inbox when you are at the office, especially in the run up to the popular holiday periods such as Christmas. The key is being able to keep the two distinct from each other and to allow yourself to switch off when you are on holiday. But is it always so simple to book and get your holiday approved? Can your boss actually reject your request?

Employers have to juggle multiple requests to make sure that business priorities are met as well as keeping their staff happy. 

Here’s  our top tips to make sure you get your holidays approved in time for that all-important festive Christmas period.

Can an employer dictate when you take your holidays.

As some companies will operate in tune to their clients’ needs, sometimes there may be restrictions around when leave can be taken, for example around busy periods. Similarly, you might have to take some days off if the office is closed e.g. around Christmas and New Year. This is perfectly acceptable, and you should find out what is expected before you plan all your holiday.

Can my employer refuse holidays?

Your employer can refuse time off if they give you as much notice as the amount of leave requested. For example one day’s notice for one day’s leave, unless your contract says otherwise.

Top tips to make sure your annual leave is approved

  • Plan, plan and plan - try to schedule any longer time off in advance, and give your boss plenty of notice. 
  • Don’t jump the gun - make sure that your request is approved before you actually book your holiday. You don’t want to create a difficult situation between yourself and your boss unnecessarily, and you certainly don't want to lose out if you cannot go.
  • Play fair - discuss with your boss and co-workers ways to divide up the most popular periods e.g. summer. This will help to maintain positive relationships with your colleagues and spare your boss any complaints and awkward situations.
  • Be ready to compromise - be flexible and remember that kindness goes a long way. Spend some time thinking about a plan B if it is not possible; but speak with your boss and understand what the bigger picture is if everyone has asked for the same time off.
  • Be in the know - think up a plan of how your boss and colleagues might be able to keep things moving along while you are gone.
  • Make sure you leave enough time to inform important stakeholders that you will be away, and that you put together a detailed handover and go through it in person with your manager.

For further advice and helpful tips be sure to check out our career hub.