With Christmas only a few weeks away, the sales already on and New Year’s Eve parties on the horizon, many people are already counting their pennies and wondering if they’ll have enough to last them into new year.


If you are an employer, holidays can come with added financial burdens, and not just from the cost of the Christmas party, staff wanting to be paid early or even the sexual harassment claims that can arise from one of your staff having one too many!  Holiday leave can also be an expensive business, especially if your holiday leave year runs from 1 January.


It’s been widely believed by employers that whilst they have to give statutory paid holiday leave, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  In other words, if an employee doesn’t ask to take their holiday leave, they lose it.


The courts disagree.  Holiday leave will carry over into the next year unless the employer can show that they’ve taken reasonable steps to ensure that the employee knows how much time they have left and that if they don’t take the time, it will be lost.  It’s for the employer to show that they took such reasonable steps, and if they can’t satisfy a Tribunal on that point, they could have to pay any missed back holiday pay going back up to six years.


So if you don’t want to choke on your mince pie at the cost of your employee bill next year, our advice would be to make sure you have a robust holiday leave policy, that includes provisions for reminding employees at regular intervals how much leave they have, how they should time and what happens if they don’t.


Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  A team of helpful elves!