As an employer am I entitled to refuse a last minute holiday request?

Statutory Right to time off

All full time employees working in the United Kingdom have a statutory right to take holidays and also receive holiday pay while on the holidays.

Number of holidays permitted by companies and statutory minimum

Currently full time employees within the UK are entitled to 24 days paid holiday a year. Some companies may provide employees with more than this allocation dependent upon company policy.

Does an employee have to request for time off from their employer?

If an employee wishes to use some of their annual holiday leave then they must make a proper request to their employer within the specified notice period.

How much notice of an intention to take holidays is an employee required to give an employer?

An employee who requests statutory holiday form their employer must give notice according to one of the following:

In the situation whereby an employee fails to give the required notice to their employer the employer is under no obligation to allow them to take the holiday.

So as an employer I can reject last minute holiday requests?

This makes it clear than an employer can reject last minute holiday requests from an employee.

Will this often be the case?

Whether an employer wishes to do this or not is purely up to the discretion of that employer. If it is an extremely busy time for the company then it may be in the interests of the employer to stop their employee taking this time off. However, in the interests of company morale especially if the request is made during a quiet time it may be in the interests of the employer to allow their employee to take this time off.

It is purely at the discretion of the employer as there is no statutory right when the required notice is not given.

Is this the case if the request comes at the end of the year?

Many employees will not use their entire allocation of holidays throughout the year and will have a number of days built up at the end of the yearly allocation. However, they will only be able to take these if they give the employer the requisite notice. This will mean that they may not be able to take their full annual allocation but it is deemed to be the fault of the employee rather than the employer.