Employers frequently do not wish an employee to stay at work during his notice period. Although everyone would accept that there is an obligation to pay notice even if the employee is sat at home, it can irk employers that they have to pay for the notice period, and then pay accrued holiday on top. Contracts of employment thus frequently contain a term that the employer can direct that accrued annual leave is to be taken during notice periods.Â
This type of provision is perfectly lawful: the only statutory restriction on when an employer can require an employee to take his holiday is found at reg 15 of the Working Time Regulations 1998, which provides thatthe Â notice to take holiday must be at least twice as long as the period of leave in question. These provisions can be excluded by agreement however. This is exactly what happened inÂ Industrial & Commercial Maintenance Ltd v Briffa  UKEAT, and employers are well advised to have this provision in contracts and ensure it is enforced.