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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.

Does your employer refuse your vacation request, and you don't know what to or can do? Contact our legal advisors!

2 'No' if so stated in additional rules
Many organizations specify how you should request a holiday, for example in your employment contract, collective labor agreement or company regulations. In addition, sometimes periods have been agreed for which you are not allowed to request a holiday. It is good to know these rules and procedures, because they can also be a reason why your employer refuses your holiday application.

3 'No' if you don't have enough days
Your employer may also refuse your vacation if you have too few 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, your employer often gives you extra days: 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 expire after five years, unless otherwise agreed.

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.

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 enough relaxation: without mouth caps, quarantine and test proofs. We get that, but be careful. Firstly, because not everyone will be able to leave at the same time. There is a greater chance that your holiday request will be refused, because colleagues want to take time off during the same period. Secondly, a holiday 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 the 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.