Skip to content

What are the standard holiday rules?

Under usual rules, workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days holiday including bank holidays, each year. Except in limited circumstances, it cannot be carried between leave years meaning that workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.

The government passed emergency legislation relaxing the carry-over of the 20 days leave entitlement provided under EU law. Where it is not reasonably practicable for an employee to take leave in the relevant leave year as a result of the effects of the coronavirus then they could be entitled to carry over the untaken leave into the next year.

Related FAQs

What are the minimum consultation time limits?

Where an employer is proposing to dismiss:

  • 100 or more employees at one establishment within a 90-day period, consultation must begin at least 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect
  • Between 20 and 99 employees within a 90-day period, consultation must begin at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect
  • If you are proposing to dismiss less than 20 employees then there are no minimum time limits but you must adhere to a fair process which will involve individual consultation and providing the employee with a right of an appeal
Can I ask furloughed staff to agree to accept less than 80% of their normal pay?

The guidance is clear that furloughed staff must receive no less than 80% of their reference pay (up to the monthly cap of £2500).

Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below this amount. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

What does the guidance suggest?

The guidance asks parties to act responsibly and fairly in performing and enforcing contracts. They are encouraged to act in a spirit of cooperation to achieve practical, just and equitable outcomes. In essence, rather than sticking strictly to the contract as agreed, they are encouraged to give each other leeway to deliver performance differently than they are required to do under the contract.

Flexible working

Many employees require flexible working now more than ever. That could be reduced hours, working from home, reduced days, etc. Be careful to act fairly when considering these requests as they can be a discrimination claim in the waiting.

A flexible working request is a request for a permanent change to the contract of employment however to encourage a greater take up during this difficult time, you can agree this on a temporary basis.

Can employees volunteer if they have been furloughed?

Yes. The Government has confirmed that those on furlough will also be permitted to volunteer to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak without risking their pay.