Dealing with annual leave requests

28 Jun 2017

Most of us want to enjoy the summer sunshine. But as employers, you will often face the difficult task of dealing with numerous annual leave requests, refusing leave and cancelling pre-approved holidays.

Your pharmacy’s workplace rules should set out how much notice an employee needs to provide, how the leave must be booked and how many consecutive working days can be booked. Contact the NPA Employment Law Advisory Service for guidance on your annual leave policy.

Dealing with holiday requests

If everyone wants to have the same days off, you could grant leave on the basis of “first come, first served”. If your pharmacy is open all year around, you could also consider allowing people to choose between time off at Christmas and summer.

You should encourage your team to collaborate with each other to coordinate leave to ensure operational business requirements are met and issues are quickly resolved.

Refusing annual leave

To say no to a request, you must give the employee counter-notice. The length of the notice must be equivalent to the period of leave that the employee was trying to book.

It is also possible that to force your employees to take annual leave or ban them from taking leave certain times of the year.

Cancelling annual leave

The law does allow an employer to cancel an employee’s annual leave that you have previously approved. To do this, you must provide the appropriate amount of notice. The length of the notice must be equivalent to the period of leave that the employee planned to take.

You also need to be aware that you must not cancel annual leave if it means that the employee cannot take their full statutory annual leave entitlement in that leave year.

For tailored advice, call the NPA Employment Law Advisory Service Team on 0330 123 0558 or email for more advice.