Can a company enforce a policy that annual leave must be taken within the leave year and not allow any carry forward of holidays?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 2 May 2017
Julie Austin
McDowell Purcell
Issues covered:

With some exceptions, it is possible to enforce a policy that provides that annual leave must be taken within the leave year and not allow any carry forward of holidays i.e. a “use it or lose it” policy. Section 20 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides that the employer can generally decide when annual leave must be taken.

Annual leave is a health and safety requirement and the burden is on the employer to ensure that employees take their annual leave. It is not sufficient for an employer to say that the employee never requested holidays. Many employers implement a “use it or lose” policy as a way of ensuring that employees do in fact take their leave.

Of course, an employer

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/05/2017

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Julie Austin
McDowell Purcell

The main content of this article was provided by Julie Austin. Contact telephone number is +353 1 828 0600 or email

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