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Work cancelling annual leave

(84 Posts)
y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 21:17:41

DP works for the Civil Service. He has a week of work booked off over Christmas, and we’ve booked and paid for a cottage for that week. He’s apparently been told today that if Brexit goes ahead on 31st October, all annual leave over Christmas will be cancelled. Does anyone know where we stand on this? Can’t afford to lose £900 on the cottage and don’t see why we should! It’s been booked for nearly a year. Don’t even think travel insurance would cover this sad

adaline Mon 14-Oct-19 21:18:52

Any employer can cancel annual leave if they give sufficient notice.

Mammylamb Mon 14-Oct-19 21:19:37

I’d perhaps contact ACAS.
Or ask his workplace to refund him the £900

Lonelymum11 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:21:20

I imagine you'll be fine. I doubt boris will be able to get it sorted by 31st anyway.

But yeah anywhere I've worked has always had a clause about leave approval being at company's discretion and they can cancel it due to business needs if necessary.

ClownsandCowboys Mon 14-Oct-19 21:23:44

They can cancel, but they have to allow time to use it. When does his leave year finish?

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 21:23:46

Where does that leave people for booking holidays and the like? I hope not Lonelymum, I didn’t bloody vote for it anyway and now it’s going to run my holiday angry

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 21:24:22

It goes April to April ClownsandCowboys

RB68 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:29:51

It would be reasonable to submit a claim for the costs of the holiday etc.

feelinghelplesstoday Mon 14-Oct-19 21:32:07

@y0rkier0se are you sure it's April to April? My oh is CS too and his is March to feb x

Snapespeare Mon 14-Oct-19 21:35:22

It varies depending on government department.

moreismore Mon 14-Oct-19 21:35:45

I’ve got specialist travel insurance in the past for military where operational needs mean last minute holiday cancellations possible. Might be worth seeing if there are similar policies that cover other jobs?? No idea if it’s possible.

Justbaking Mon 14-Oct-19 21:36:01

Police do it as well. Both my DH and I are blocked from taking leave due to a Brexit and that's right through half term. angry

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 21:36:50

Ahh you’re right feelinghelpless, thank you, it is February to February, and if everyone is the same surely it wouldn’t be viable for everybody to take theirs Between January and February!

caffeinebuzz Mon 14-Oct-19 21:37:22

In every private sector company I've worked for they would reimburse expenses incurred for cancelled holidays. And most allowed the days to be carried over if there wasn't another chance to take it in the current year. But obviously don't know how that translates to the Civil Service.

readingnc Mon 14-Oct-19 21:40:53

😂 It doesn't @caffeinebuzz

Have they said why they need to cancel it op?

MereDintofPandiculation Mon 14-Oct-19 21:41:03

Unless your T&C have changed drastically in the last 10 years, they'll refund the £900 if you ask them.

Civil Service used to talk about "annual leave is a privilege not a right" and "needs of the office" but that changed when UK had to come in line with the EU. So he should be able to take his leave at a later date, or carry it over into the next leave year.

My oh is CS too and his is March to feb Depends on Department. Could be date of joining, could be birthday. Not everyone will necessarily have the same A/L year even in the same Department.

MrsGrindah Mon 14-Oct-19 21:44:40

I’m in the civil service and I’m pretty sure they won’t reimburse, just give you the chance to take leave later.

readingnc Mon 14-Oct-19 21:47:30

Nobody in the civil service has their leave running from their birthday!

I'm assuming he's police, there's not going to be much he can do at this point. It can't be a huge shock though as we faced this scenario in March too

VirtualHamster Mon 14-Oct-19 21:50:59

Nobody in the civil service has their leave running from their birthday!

In the part of the civil service i worked in your annual leave year ran from your birthday month. So if your birthday was 4th May, leave ran May - April, if it was the 30th September it ran September - August etc.

ArnoldBee Mon 14-Oct-19 21:53:20

My leave runs from my birthday month! In my department it's either your birthday month or the month you joined. CS has always had the right to cancel leave due to business needs just that over the past couple of decades our country has been fairly stable so we haven't been used to it. We are in unprecedented times and it's all hands to the pump. Yes it's crap but it can happen. I have never known a holiday refund but you never know.

mumtomaxwell Mon 14-Oct-19 21:54:05

Married to a civil servant too.... the shit show that will ensue when we crash out of the EU with no deal means our family life is going to suffer immeasurably. We have already been through one set of cancelled leave and extended leave bans earlier this year and I’m expecting more. Thanks Brexit angry

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 21:54:08

He’s not in the police, it’s HMRC. Surely they can’t expect us to lose £900 because of it, but he doesn’t seem to think they’ll reimburse either. Honestly at a loss what to do, suppose we’ve just got to wait it out and hope it gets stalled again wine

0hT00dles Mon 14-Oct-19 21:55:12

Oh gosh.

But yes, it's up to the discretion of the company.

I've never known anyone personally who it has happened to, but I've seen it mentioned a few times on here.

My dh will be cancelling his own annual leave himself if brexit happens on the 31stsad But that's him doing it and he knows I'm not happy.

ArnoldBee Mon 14-Oct-19 21:55:18

And yes we have been told that we may be required at short notice - not a lot I can do from my desk but I may be drafted.

MrsGrindah Mon 14-Oct-19 21:57:12

Course they can. It’s not done lightly. They cant make decisions based on the fact that it might mean some people are out of pocket.

BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail Mon 14-Oct-19 21:58:13

Yes they can and they aren’t liable. Can take someone else (parents etc)? If they do that they may well move to shift patterns which have been billed as 4 on 3 Off so he mightn’t miss the whole thing.

Gillian1980 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:58:38

DH has had to cancel over 50% of his leave this year (his runs jan-jan) due to EU / Brexit nonsense. He’s booked 3 weeks over Christmas to attempt to use leave.... can’t see him actually getting it all.
He is a CS btw.

CornishCreation Mon 14-Oct-19 22:01:45

I'd just go on the holiday, it's done then if they moan about it then they moan it's too late to do much about it after. Their moaning won't last forever. Or he can go off sick that week?

Justmuddlingalong Mon 14-Oct-19 22:01:54

Have you checked your insurance policy in the off chance you can claim?

rainingallday Mon 14-Oct-19 22:03:04


jayho Mon 14-Oct-19 22:03:52

I'm a CS and have received this warning and given it to my team consistently since the first exit date was give. Unfortunately, it's part of the uncertainty around what Brexit will mean in real terms.

However, we are also acknowledging that we will seek to allocate any extra task out in a fair manner and take into account family circumstances.

Do you have insurance? If so, it might be worth asking your insurer if this cancellation would be considered as force majeur. To use a French expression that will probably be banned in the not too distant future.

MrsGrindah Mon 14-Oct-19 22:04:08

It might be a bit more than moaning..possibly disciplinary action. Plus he’d piss off all his colleagues who might also have their plans scuppered. And going sick is just twattish behaviour

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 22:04:30

Doesn’t help that DP is very much of the “whatever happens happens, it’ll all be fine” mindset hmm Roll on 31st to find out the outcome!

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 22:06:26

He wouldn’t just take it off sick, we have a mortgage to pay and couldn’t afford for him to lose his job. A rubbish situation - sorry to hear so many of you and your DPs have also been affected by this over the last year sad

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 14-Oct-19 22:06:38

Civil service leave is usually birthday to birthday.

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 14-Oct-19 22:07:53

Nobody in the civil service has their leave running from their birthday!
The entire dept my dh works in is birthday to birthday.

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 14-Oct-19 22:09:18

Op as rubbish as it is it’s only to be expected.

itsboiledeggsagain Mon 14-Oct-19 22:09:45

Yes I agree it would be a disciplinary matter to go anyway.

I love the way that people state to be fact what is not true and are so confident. "no one's AL runs birthday to birthday" "everyone's AL runs birthday to birthday" - how about just some???

Biscuitsdisappear Mon 14-Oct-19 22:17:19

Put in a claim, you will most likely be reimbursed. I wouldn't be spending that much money on a holiday anywhere without taking out insurance.

Moreisnnogedag Mon 14-Oct-19 22:18:12

Most public sector places can (and do) cancel holidays. What’s more scary is that the notice is usually only twice the length of annual leave (so if i take a week annuals leave, they can cancel up to two weeks before it).

I cannot imagine they’d refund you any monies though. But its HMRC so maybe. Did you pay for it on credit card? They sometimes have protection, or if you have travel insurance through your bank you could ask them.

feelinghelplesstoday Mon 14-Oct-19 22:19:05

@y0rkier0se it's going to be a nightmare when they all try to take leave in February 😢. Mines HO and if I have to hear another sodding conference call on brexit planning I swear I'll lose my shit 😂. I used to love him working from home now I hate it x

SpringFan Mon 14-Oct-19 22:19:13

Oh whoops. DC2 has just joined HMRC, so looks like a fun christmas ahead!
Regarding the holiday year- DH's departmental leave year was related to the individual's birthday, mine was May to April. Obviously it varies from Dept to dept which makes sense in a lot of ways.

y0rkier0se Mon 14-Oct-19 22:20:50

We do have travel insurance so I’ll try them if it does definitely get cancelled, not sure it’ll be covered though as I think it stipulates reasons for cancellation being medical, it definitely said it didn’t cover “acts of God” although Brexit definitely doesn’t fall under that!

Moreisnnogedag Mon 14-Oct-19 22:21:50

My work (NHS) will either carry across annual leave or pay you for it if they haven’t allowed you to take it due to operational reasons.

19lottie82 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:22:24

It would be reasonable to submit a claim for the costs of the holiday etc.

It really wouldn't. Unfortunately, legally, they haven’t done anything wrong.

RhiWrites Mon 14-Oct-19 22:26:00

He needs to ask his line manager about the fact a leave cancellation will leave him £900 out of pocket. He should ask to see the relevant policy in writing.

BritInUS1 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:30:18

Also if it does happen and you are going to lose the money, speak to the company, as it's over Christmas they should be able to relet easy enough so might reimburse you some of the fee under the circumstances

travailtotravel Mon 14-Oct-19 22:44:54

Another DH in the mire here. Defra, with leave running from May. He's had no such notification that this might happen and we went away while the other deadline was ongoing. And his job is Brexit planning related. We are in it if they cancel - 2.5 weeks away in the far east. Waaay more than 900 quid worth. I'll be well pissed off if we get shafted by this as well as shafted by Mr Johnson.

cdtaylornats Mon 14-Oct-19 22:53:56

Everywhere I've worked it has been in the contract that they could cancel leave, but had to allow it to be taken by the end of the leave year and would refund any costs incurred.

Your DH should ask if he should just fill in a normal expense forms for the incidental expenses.

Streamside Mon 14-Oct-19 22:54:44

I work for a public body and they don't allow any new leave to be booked over the Brexit period but are honouring any which has been pre booked.

AnneElliott Mon 14-Oct-19 22:54:50

He needs to discuss it with his line manager. I wouldn't do this to any of mine unless it was an absolute emergency- and even then I'd try and find someone else who hadn't actually booked a holiday.

Has the rest of the team been told the same?

I am aware of other departments that do the Birthday month thing, but I think most are phasing that out as too complete administer.

Doobigetta Mon 14-Oct-19 22:55:08

Civil Service used to talk about "annual leave is a privilege not a right" and "needs of the office" but that changed when UK had to come in line with the EU.

And the leave will be cancelled if we crash out of the EU...

CakeAndGin Mon 14-Oct-19 23:07:02

I don’t work for the civil service but I’ve had notice that my leave over the Christmas and New Year period may also be cancelled due to Brexit or I may be required to do stand-by (I am not usually stand-by staff and not paid as such). It sucks. I’ve sulked about it. I’ve asked management for more clarification but they can’t give any. So your DP is right, it will be what it will be. You aren’t the only one in this position and it’s just another unforeseen consequence of Brexit. But at least I’ll still have a job.

Pixxie7 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:08:36

Have you thought of contacting the holiday company and explained the situation. Given the time of year it may be possible to change the date of your holiday. Not ideal but better than loosing all that money.

HelenaDove Mon 14-Oct-19 23:11:53

So people will be of a mindset not to book holidays in case annual leave gets cancelled.

Thomas Cook wont be the last holiday co. to go bust.

Beveren Mon 14-Oct-19 23:15:56

I know it's not great, but if you can't get a refund can the rest of the family go without him?

OneHanded Mon 14-Oct-19 23:20:48

Hi I work for a major insurance company in travel insurance claims. Of course check your policy but we underwrite a lot of the major policies for banks, companies, etc and only cover leave withdrawal for military and emergency service workers.

m0therofdragons Mon 14-Oct-19 23:20:51

@readingnc our local district council runs it from the day the employee starts because the IT person setting up the system misunderstood the hr director and it'll cost too much to change it! Until 2 years ago different depts had diff annual leave allowances depending on the manager as hr was outsourced. Civil service doesn't mean consistency!

m0therofdragons Mon 14-Oct-19 23:23:54

I'm nhs management and can't book Christmas until we figure this shit show out. Fingers crossed I can have Christmas Day!

stargazer2030 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:31:21

Is he in a union? Can they help him with this at all?

BarbaraofSeville Tue 15-Oct-19 05:29:15

Civil service doesn't mean consistency

It certainly doesn't. Our leave year runs April to March, it used to be calendar year, but it changed when we merged with another organisation. I've never heard of it being tied to someone's birthday or the anniversary of joining.

We also haven't been told of any 'cancellation of leave if Brexit causes a shitshow' policy although I suppose it would be possible.

I have no idea what would happen with reimbursement of booked holidays - OP can you change the booking to another time of year or next Christmas I'm sure they'll let you do it for a small fee and they'll easily be able to relet the property if they have a good 3 months notice.

Tippety Tue 15-Oct-19 05:43:36

With Brexit looming though did he not consider this might be a possibility? I'd be very surprised if he didn't. It sucks though.

CasperGutman Tue 15-Oct-19 05:52:28

At least some travel insurance policies will cover this. Mine specifically states it covers cancellation of a trip for employees of Government Departments who have their authorised annual leave cancelled. For anyone looking to buy a policy in future who could be in this position, it would be well worth checking the policy wording before buying.

Good luck getting this sorted, OP! Hopefully Brexit will be delayed and/or cancelled....

Spanglyprincess1 Tue 15-Oct-19 05:53:36

Usual pre approved leave is honoured if approved on the it system. If it was just an email yeah that's fine then no it won't be honoured.
It's in the civil service leave policy esp for front line staff.

BestIsWest Tue 15-Oct-19 05:55:28

DH Leave year begins on his birthday, mine is anniversary of joining. Both CS though different depts.

OverthinkingThis Tue 15-Oct-19 06:05:04

Civil service leave is usually birthday to birthday.

Not true at all. DP and I are both CS - mine is April to March and his is based on month of start date.

OP - is your DH in a union? They could advise. Or agree with PP about asking ACAS.

We have a policy that covers recall from annual leave - costs have to be reimbursed. But I don't know how far in advance that applies in terms of when they cancel leave.

JammieCodger Tue 15-Oct-19 06:55:46

I’m CS and have worked in 5 different departments with 5 different leave patterns. The birthday/date of joining ones work best; those that have everyone working to the same date have everyone trying to use up their excess at the same time.

MrsGrindah Tue 15-Oct-19 07:05:49

People saying claim it from the employer...that civil service isn’t like that! OP your husband will have access to reams of HR guidance..he just needs to check it out ASAP but be prepared to accept that the money is gone

y0rkier0se Tue 15-Oct-19 07:20:29

People saying “Did he not see this coming?”, this was booked nearly a year ago, when we were supposed to be leaving in March so didn’t foresee it being an issue at the time of booking. He’s a union rep but apparently this is drafted into Brexit legislature so overrides usual contract. It is possible to go without him I suppose, I’m a teacher so don’t think my holidays will be cancelled grin I’ll update when we find out more

LakieLady Tue 15-Oct-19 07:46:55

DP works for a police force in the SE. Their area includes a big chink of coast and some channel ports.

Police officers who have leave already booked are still allowed to take it, but no new leave for the period 1/10/19 - 31/12/19 has been allowed to be booked for some time now. There's not yet been any suggestion that pre-booked leave could be cancelled.

It seems a bit harsh, especially if your DP isn't in a front line role.

Timeywimey10 Tue 15-Oct-19 07:53:41

Why would HMRC staff be required for Brexit? I understand the police, customs, border staff etc.

And what work would be being done between Christmas and New Year anyway?

JammieCodger Tue 15-Oct-19 07:54:44

In a lot of departments large work streams have been dropped and all the people working on them redeployed to try to mitigate the effects of a no deal. I’m fairly safe due to the nature of my current work, but I’ve had meetings cancelled at the last minut

JammieCodger Tue 15-Oct-19 07:56:53

Gah. Fat fingers! the last minute when the people I’ve been supposed to be meeting have been whisked away to work on They’ll be the ones having to cancel their leave.

JammieCodger Tue 15-Oct-19 08:01:14

It’s every department; Health, Education...everyone not working on an absolute core workstrand is in danger of getting hived off to work on brexit. And what do you think the C stands for in HMRC?

doublebarrellednurse Tue 15-Oct-19 08:05:38

I'm nhs management and can't book Christmas until we figure this shit show out. Fingers crossed I can have Christmas Day!

Nursing mgt here and same. Not that I've ever really had Christmas off!

absolutelyknackeredcow Tue 15-Oct-19 08:18:42

HMRC staff are utterly critical for Brexit. The whole way we trade will change and instead of good such as food etc through Europe with no paperwork,all of a sudden multiple papers will be needed not just from goods coming from Europe but from those countries such as China etc where currently our trading relations are based on European membership

absolutelyknackeredcow Tue 15-Oct-19 08:19:36

I work on brexit - although not as a civil servant - it's exhausting. I can't take any leave

JammieCodger Tue 15-Oct-19 08:30:51

Completely derailing your thread OP, sorry, but can’t resist the opportunity to educate, particularly if people out there think there won’t be much to do over the Christmas period. So...

The main problem at the moment is that we have no idea yet what kind of terms we’ll be working with on Nov 1st. Factories who import their raw materials don’t know, pharmacists trying to stock up, hospitals trying to staff, farmers exporting their lamb. No one knows. And even when we do know, on the 31st, it will just be very high level, not the detail. And it will be civil servants who can then start to hammer out the detail, to work out how the rules we need on staffing hospitals will effect fruit pickers or football teams. Making sure a line of policy on exports doesn’t have a negative effect on farmers, art sales, shipbuilding... And it’s not just about imports and exports and immigration. It’s everything.

And alongside that we’ll be writing guidance for the farmers and football managers and art dealers, so they know what to do and how to do it. And creating forms and web tools to let them do it. And our comms teams will be working so the people who need to know these changes do know them.
And that’s just a small amount of what will need doing, even if we get the best possible deal. We’ve got a very busy Christmas ahead of us. 😁

MrsGrindah Tue 15-Oct-19 09:50:44

Yep. I know civil servants have the image of pen pushers but a lot of us are in behind the scenes roles that are essential to keep this country going. Not glamorous or life saving but essential all the same. Brexit is the biggest risk to our civil stability other than wars so yes it’s better to be prepared.

OldEvilOwl Tue 15-Oct-19 11:22:47

I can't see us leaving on the 31st to be honest, I think it will be extended again until next year sometime.

y0rkier0se Tue 15-Oct-19 18:09:59

No update as of yet from work, but for the person saying “what work will they actually be doing over Christmas?” apparently all those of a certain grade or higher are deemed able to do a HEO position in any area so they could be drafted in to do HEO work for Borderforce etc. We don’t know as the whole debacle is unprecedented.

feelinghelplesstoday Wed 16-Oct-19 16:56:37

@y0rkier0se is it wrong that I'm pleased I don't have OH under my feet between Christmas and new year? 😂

anchor2019 Wed 16-Oct-19 17:02:22

If they are going to use a loophole, I'd suggest you do the same - could you pull a sickie? :grin

Babysharkdoodoodood Wed 16-Oct-19 19:25:25

Ugh. Hating having to work nights this year on Xmas Eve and Day and NYE/Day.

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