Can my boss reject my holiday request even though I’ve booked flights?

BOOKING a holiday can be very tempting if you find a bargain deal, but you should avoid doing so before your boss has accepted your holiday request.

This is because they have the right to reject it, so what seemed like cheap flights may end up being a hole in your pocket.

 Make sure your boss has given you permission to go on holiday before your book your trip


Make sure your boss has given you permission to go on holiday before your book your tripCredit: Getty – Contributor

Nearly everyone in the UK is entitled to 28 days paid leave including bank holidays a year, but just because you are guaranteed holiday doesn’t mean you can take it when you want.

You can figure out how many days holiday you are entitled to by taking the amount of days a week you work and multiplying that number by 5.6.

Your boss can force you to take holiday at certain times of year like Christmas and New Year or bank holidays when your workplace may be closed.

They can also set a cap on the number of employees that are on leave at the same time to make sure there’s adequate cover, Alan Price, HR expert at HR software firm BrightHR, said.

My boss won’t let me take any of the dates off that I have suggested?

HERE is what to do when you feel you are being denied holiday

Talk to your colleagues: See how much time off the people you work with have taken off as well as how far in advance they let their boss know they were going to take time off.

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See if they got similar treatment or if you are being unfairly treated.

Have a chat: Have an informal conversation with your boss about why you can’t take certain dates off.

Explain why you need the time off and if you feel it is necessary take a member of your trade union along with you.

Go to higher up: If you still can’t agree dates you need to speak to senior management about the issue.

Launch an official complaint: At this point you need to make an employment tribunal claim.

You have a statutory right to your holiday and if you feel that is being infringed upon you can go to court.

Before you make a claim you need to talk to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). They will try one last time to reconcile the issue, and if that fails they will give you guidance on how to make an employment tribunal claim.

If you request a holiday that’d mean the team is stretched thinner than your boss has allowed, they can deny your request – and it applies even if you’ve already booked the flights, he added.

Of course, your employer may try to find a compromise but this isn’t guaranteed.

If you take off anyway, perhaps by calling in sick or not even letting your boss know, they will no doubt get suspicious.

If they find evidence that you’ve faked an illness, they might start disciplinary action against you.

Going on holiday without permission generally also counts as a disciplinary offence, but it’s up to your employer how to deal with it.

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They can sack you, but whether it’d be a fair dismissal depends on a few things, Mr Price said.

For example, your employer would have to consider how long you’ve been at the company for, what was said between you before it happened and whether it’s listed as a “gross misconduct offence” in your contract.

Sometimes it may also be a genuine mistaken assumption that the leave had been approved.

Employers have different rules though, so carefully read your contract to check what applies to you.

But to be on the safe side, only book your flights once your boss has accepted your holiday request unless you’re offered free cancellation or you’re prepared to pay the fees.

If you planned your annual leave well at the beginning of the year, you could’ve doubled your effective holiday this year by booking off these 25 days.

Meanwhile, these are the high-paying jobs that DON’T require a degree – and you can earn up to £56k a year.

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