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Work forcing us to take all holiday now

(16 Posts)
Dontjumptoconclusions Wed 15-Apr-20 12:43:51

Asking this for a friend who doesn't have an account here.

She works within the finance industry (think auditing), and her company is very much in favour of butts in seats, faces in the office. Even though they can work from home and all they need is a laptop, it makes management uncomfortable that they can't be kept an eye on.

Anyway, insert COVID and HR is asking her and all other employees to sign a new contract which says to take all 25 days holiday by 31 July this year. They know employees can't go anywhere and that they are asking employees to work non-stop between August - December excluding bank holidays.

The reason for this is because they think that output is lower since everyone is WFH. And it wouldn't be good for business if everyone took all their holidays in the last few months of the year due to COVID.

Can they do this? Can my friend and her colleagues simply refuse to sign it?

If it's relevant, she has 12 days of holiday left and was going to use this towards the end of the year to plan a trip to NZ.

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Whatdayisit2 Wed 15-Apr-20 12:51:47

Legally, no they can't.
However the manager will want everyone able to work as soon as CV is over. She needs to negotiate being able to cover school hols etc whilst keeping them happy and come to some sort of compromise which shows her commitment to the business as well as covering her personal commitments.

PaquitaVariation Wed 15-Apr-20 12:53:36

Lots of companies make their employees take holiday at specific times of the year, so I would have thought yes, they can.

PaquitaVariation Wed 15-Apr-20 12:54:52

www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/booking-time-off-

Witchofzog Wed 15-Apr-20 12:56:03

It's a shitty way to treat staff though. I would be pretty miffed if I had to take my entire allowance before the end of July for nothing I would benefit from

Greendayz Wed 15-Apr-20 12:58:14

We've had the same - everyone to take half their holiday by end of June. Obviously noone wants to, but we've had a downturn in business but are hoping it will pick up later in the year and they want holiday used up while it's quiet. I'm off this week and doing the garden. Also booked the last few days in June in the hope I might be able to visit my mum by then. Can't imagine they'll be any foreign holidays any time this year

HasaDigaEebowai Wed 15-Apr-20 12:58:59

I'm an employment lawyer. Yes they can do this. They have to give you double the amount of notice as the length of leave they want you to take. So if they want you to take a week they have to give you two weeks' notice of this fact.

babychange12 Wed 15-Apr-20 13:01:46

I highly highly doubt she will be able to get to nz at the end of the year tbh

NoSquirrels Wed 15-Apr-20 13:02:54

A lot of businesses are asking employees to take holiday at the moment, so that there isn't a huge surge of people wanting to be off at the same time when the world gets back to business as usual.

I haven't heard of anyone being asked to take all their yearly allowance in advance, like this, but I know of a few companies who are asking employees to have used it up on a pro-rata basis i.e. not to "save" it and take at least 50% by mid-year.

HR advisors are recommending encouraging employees to take holiday allowance now.

NoSquirrels Wed 15-Apr-20 13:04:27

"Sign a new contract" seems odd - to make this a permanent change to their T&Cs?

UpToonGirl Wed 15-Apr-20 13:05:33

Would management really want everyone taking holiday at the same time? That would have much more impact than wfh. If they are concerned they just need to implement new strategies to make sure everyone is still being productive while wfh.

Dontjumptoconclusions Wed 15-Apr-20 13:31:09

@NoSquirrels I'm not quite sure about if it's a permanent change - that's a good question. I'll pass that on.

I agree that everyone should take their holidays pro rata (if that's what it's called). My employer is asking that we hav all taken at least 10 days holiday by August. Which is fine.

@HasaDigaEebowai I understand and appreciate the policy on giving the employee twice the notice, but where do we stand on all holidays - i.e. burnout being a genuine problem in October/Nov having worked 5 days a week since August.

Annual leave is not just there to go on holiday - it's also to recharge.

OP’s posts: |
sheepdreams Fri 17-Apr-20 07:39:39

Perception of future employers if small business

Hi all

I wondered if anyone had experience of setting up a business that was not successful and had to seek paid employment. How did you explain on applications? At interview? Could this be perceived as positive if you were able to outline new skills learned? despite failure of business? Would it be helpful to highlight that you had previously had 20 years continuous full time employment in another career?

It would be so helpful to hear of others views/experiences.

blackteaplease Fri 17-Apr-20 07:43:08

We've been asked to take half by June which is still a ballache as I have 2 weeks booked in August and work in the diary until the end of June. But from a business perspective I understand.

But OP in your scenario taking all leave now is terrible for wellbeing. Working 6 months with no break will not increase productivity

NoSquirrels Fri 17-Apr-20 12:43:52

@sheepdreams if you repost this is a new thread I think you’ll get better advice.

sheepdreams Fri 17-Apr-20 14:04:34

Thank you. Will do.

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