If a company terminates an employee’s employment, and acknowledges the contractual notice period, can the company then require them to take holiday leave accrued but previously unused during this notice period (as opposed to paying it out in lieu as an additional payment)?

For example, the company fires somebody who has a contractual one weeks’ notice. Manager doesn’t want the person in the office anymore, and as it turns out, they have 5 days unused holiday. (Contract states they must take holiday leave only at a time convenient to the employer.)

Can the company then just pay the employee for their last week (out of the office), and not anything above & beyond (i.e. the 5 days of unused holiday?)?

It seems the luck of the draw for the employee though, in terms of the pay would be the same whether or not they had used up their holiday allowance prior to being fired/given notice… (i.e. if they had already used their allowance, their last week would be “garden leave” instead)


Alicia Miles

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