Annual Leave definition

Annual leave refers to paid time off provided to employees as part of the employment contract. In most cases the amount of annual leave – which may or may not include public holidays – will be stipulated in the employment contract. Most organisations require staff to give advance notice of their intention to take holiday; generally the longer the period of time the employee wants to take off, the longer the notice period required.

Annual leave is an employee benefit although most countries around the world have minimum annual leave provisions which employers must adhere to. In the European Union, states can set their own minimums, although it can’t be less than 20 days plus public holidays). US law requires no minimum – many employees get no paid time off at all, although most employers give around two weeks.


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