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I conveniently joined the company when they just reset their holiday leave, so I have 25 days remaining. However, I think I'm going to leave. Should I take all 25 days before I hand in my notice?

P.S. I don't think I can get paid for the remaining days if I hand in my notice now.

My ideal plan is to hand in my notice (get 4 weeks of work) and take these 4 weeks as a holiday, but this is impossible.

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    Are you certain that those 25 days don't accrue over the course of the first year of your employment? So after 1 month you'd have 2 days, after 2 months - 4 days, etc. Check your employment contract. – brhans Jun 6 '18 at 13:51
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    The moment you hand in your notice, your leave quota will be recalculated pro rata. Just you watch. Or, if you've already taken more leave than you'll end up being entitled to, they'll claw it back from your final pay. – AakashM Jun 6 '18 at 13:57
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    Do you have an employee handbook you can consult for policy on unused vacation days? – mcknz Jun 6 '18 at 13:58
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    If you're asking about your company policy, we can't tell you that - you'll need to check your contract or company rulebook. If you're asking whether you'll create bad blood by doing this (if it's allowed), let me put it this way: you just started and you want them to pay you for you to do nothing for 25 days and then leave. – Bernhard Barker Jun 6 '18 at 14:00
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    "No I can book it through the system." The system was probably built with the ability to allow people to take holiday in excess of what has accrued in order to allow people to earn it back. I would NOT rely upon such a software system to accurately reflect company policies. – Glen Pierce Jun 6 '18 at 14:46
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I'm almost certain it'll be pro rata based on the number of months you've worked. In addition it'll almost certainly be only FULL months, i.e. if you gave a months notice now then you'd only have the number of days you'd accrued up until the end of May.

In all my time working in the UK this has always been the way it's worked.

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Holidays are awarded based on how many days you actually work. The majority of systems will allow you to spend hours you do not yet have because the company doesn't necessarily want to stop you from taking a week off for a family vacation early in your employment. But they do assume you'll stick around long enough to actually earn those.

If you decide not to, your total vacation hours will be recalculated based on how many days you did work, and then they decide the balance. If you only worked there for a month and took 25 days off, your balance will end up being negative and you'll probably not be paid at all (or might even need to pay back the company).

So you probably shouldn't do this. You won't make any friends and you might end up owing a lot of money.

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  • This is not universally true. In some countries you are entitled to a certain number of days off from the day you start working for a company. In other countries you build up vacation days for year X by working in year X-1. Some localities leave a lot of leeway for companies to change this in their employment contracts – Cronax Jun 6 '18 at 14:17
  • Can you name a country where you earn days from the moment you start work? I know plenty that allow you to take them (like mine) but none that grant them officially until you've worked enough. – Erik Jun 6 '18 at 14:19
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    @Cronax I live there as well, and no it isn't. When you leave, your total leave gets recalculated based on actual hours worked and deducted from your paid wages if negative. – Erik Jun 6 '18 at 14:28
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    @Cronax the OP is in the UK and statutory holiday entitlement is explicitly accrued in this manner, working one month accrues you 2.333(recurring) days of entitlement, the employer can chose to give them more if they want but I'll eat my hat if they do. – motosubatsu Jun 6 '18 at 15:07
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    @cronax You think you can work one day, take 25 days holiday, give notice and get paid for a month when you worked one day? – gnasher729 Jun 6 '18 at 15:25
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Whether you can or not is in your company's policy.

It would be very brave to pull such a maneuver, however. By brave, I mean that in the exact same way an MP refers to another MP in Parliament.

You would certainly earn yourself a name in the industry, but not in the way you'd prefer, I'd imagine.

At best, your reputation would suffer, at worst, they may come after you to recoup unearned monies in the payout if the time is pro-rated. Do not risk your financial and career health by doing this.

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