Acas concern over missing holiday entitlement

Hand filling in calendar
The head of Acas has urged employees to speak to their bosses about time off after they discovered around four in 10 have been missing out on paid holiday during the pandemic compared to before it started.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask the question and found that not only are they cutting down on breaks, the results varied depending on the size of the organisation:

They found that 44 per cent of those at SMEs were affected, as opposed to 35 per cent of employees in large businesses employing more than 250 people.

Further research elsewhere suggested, even those who do take holidays, are never fuilly free from work with bosses expecting work emails to be dealt with.

CEO Susan Clews said: “Our findings are unsurprising as many workers may have taken advantage of a new law introduced last year, which allows them to carry over most of their paid time off into this year.

“Whilst the easing of pandemic restrictions is good news for many businesses, many staff will be keen to use up the leave they have saved up to take advantage of the summer season.

“Acas advice is for employees to agree any holiday plans with their managers and keep them updated on any new Covid developments that could impact work such as travel quarantine or being asked to self-isolate.”

Acas has advice for employers and employees on taking leave, what the rules are and what has changed as well as information on what to do if you need to self-isolate when returning from abroad.

In 2020, the Government introduced a law allowing employees and workers to carry over up to four weeks statutory paid holiday into their next two holiday leave years. This law applies for any holiday that staff do not take due to Covid-19.

Acas advice on taking paid time off includes:
  • Workers should try to make requests for paid holiday throughout their holiday year;
  • If holiday plans suddenly change due to Covid-19 then employees should get in touch with their boss to agree alternative options for time off; and
  • Get any time off requests in as soon as possible as employers need to plan staff cover for their businesses and are unlikely to agree staff all taking holiday at the same time.
Acas advice on paid time off here

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