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Holiday requested but your employer refuses! Is that allowed?

It's something to look forward to: vacation! A few days or weeks off, to escape from work pressure and deadline stress. To get time off, you must submit a vacation request to your employer. It is often accepted. But it sometimes happens that your employer does not agree. You can, but not just like that. In which cases is your employer allowed to say 'no', and what can you do best? You can read it in this blog.

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1. 'No' if that is better for the company
Your employer may refuse your vacation application if there are serious reasons. For example, if your absence seriously disrupts business operations, because many other colleagues are away during the same period. He must explain why he is refusing your application. This gives you the opportunity to start the conversation and find an alternative. For example, he may be able to approve your application if you take a week off earlier or later.
For the same reason, your employer may also change an approved holiday. He must first discuss this with you. He must also compensate any damage, such as the cancellation costs for your booked holiday.

2 'No' if you don't have enough days
Your employer may also refuse your vacation if you do not have enough vacation days. It is therefore good to know how many days off you have annually. You are in any case entitled to the statutory number: four times the number of days you work per week. So do you work three days a week? Then you are entitled to twelve days of vacation every year. These days have an expiration date: they expire within six months of the calendar year in which you built them. Statutory holidays from 2021 that you have not used will therefore expire on 1 July 2022 – unless otherwise agreed in your collective labor agreement or employment contract. In addition, you often receive extra days from your employer: the holidays that exceed the statutory minimum. How many there are is stated in your employment contract, collective labor agreement or company regulations. These often only become statute-barred five years after the end of the year in which the holidays were accrued, unless otherwise agreed. The extra-statutory hours accrued in 2021 will therefore become time-barred on 1 January 2027.

The difference between the expiration term and the statute of limitations is that an expiration term is 'hard' while a statute of limitations can be 'stopped'. This means that you can let your employer know in writing that there are reasons that you want to retain the right to extra-statutory holidays. From that moment on, the limitation period starts to run again.

Response time from your employer

Your employer is legally obliged to respond to your vacation request within two weeks. Have you not heard anything after that period? Then you can assume that your application has been approved.

Mandatory designating holidays

The employer can provide for the determination of vacation days in a written agreement or collective labor agreement. For example, a mandatory holiday due to company closure or the mandatory designation of holidays may have been agreed in the employment contract, the personnel regulations or the applicable collective labor agreement. In this regulation it must already be announced that your employer can designate days off compulsory, and how many days it concerns, this is limited by law. Your employer must also announce a mandatory day off in good time, for example at the beginning of the year, so that you can take this into account.

Holidays are good for you, even if you don't leave

Many people have saved up days in corona time, so that they can go on holiday when there are sufficient relaxation: without mouth caps, quarantine and test proofs. We understand that, but because not everyone will be able to leave at the same time, there is a greater chance that your holiday application will be refused because colleagues want to take time off during the same period.

Your employer is obliged to enable you to take the holidays. Your employer cannot invoke the expiry of statutory holidays if he has not informed you about your holiday rights, has not enabled you to take the holiday days and has not informed you about the follow-up of the non-taking (ruling of the Northern Court of Appeal). Holland March 10, 2021).

Vacation is important for your health, even if you do not travel to a sunny country. It's good for you to rest, take time for yourself and escape from busy schedules and looming deadlines. Then you can get back to work relaxed and more productive.

Questions about your vacation days?

Has your employer refused your vacation request, and you don't know what to do? Or do you have another question about your vacation days that you would like an expert answer to? Let our experts know! They are available for you every working day from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m. via and 0345 851 963.