My employer has a policy regarding holiday stating that employees are not allowed to take longer than a week off at a time (5 working days) as a consequence of this rule it leads me to believe if I were to book a week long holiday (7 nights) this would break this rule as 6 working days holiday would be required.

So therefore my question to you is this: is this a reasonable rule for my employer to have? Can they legally enforce it? If so what would you propose to deal with this rule?

  • 1
    Are you interested in whether this is allowed (by law? as per your title) or whether this is "reasonable" (as per the body of your question)? Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 9:08
  • 2
    Sorry I should've made this more clear, I mean is there anything legally allowing my employer to enforce this rule
    – THarris
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 9:09
  • Do you also work during the weekends? Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 9:54
  • @SZCZERZOKŁY Since OP said it would be 6 working days holidays I assume he gets sundays off
    – Twyxz
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 10:33
  • 1
    gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights contains quite a lot of information, but no reference to the underlying law that defines all of this. The whole guide also does not say if there is a requirement to take a certain consecutive amount once a year, such as is the case for example in Germany (where you by law have to take at least two weeks consecutive once a year, and your employer has to let you do that).
    – simbabque
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 16:59

3 Answers 3


Is this a reasonable rule

Yes, absolutely if its a small company or even a large it doesn't really matter. If your employer needs all staff and rarely hires more staff than needed then yes it's reasonable and perfectly legal also. As long as you're getting your full entitlement made available to you and you have a reasonable amount of time to take it then it's fine. As well as this, employers can completely reject holidays also if need be.

You can find more info on what is and isn't allowed Here

What would you propose to deal with this rule?

You can ask... but I can't guarantee it will have any effect. I assume your employer has this policy in place for a reason and is unlikely to allow people to break it

The only other option if you're looking to be taking multiple holidays that are longer than 5 days you should begin to start looking for another job whilst you're employed in this one.

  • 5
    For the UK I would say that a blanket 5 day limit is totally unreasonable. I have come across rules that say that more than 10 days (2 weeks) require senior (director) approval. A one week limit when the statutory minimum for full time is almost 5 weeks per year (plus the 8 days public holidays) is excessively low.
    – uɐɪ
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 12:01
  • If you read the comments OP talks about legally being true rather than reasonably
    – Twyxz
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 12:50
  • @Twyxz can you back your answer up with something. It looks like a guess.
    – user10399
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 12:56
  • 2
    @twyxz is correct as per gov.uk, strictly speaking there is no mention of restrictions an employer can enforce as long as it doesn't infringe on general working rights. One would imagine it should be in his contract, though, otherwise it might open the employer up to an employment tribunal as it's highly unusual (although does not apply to certain areas like the armed forces) Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 15:53

Your company must include so many days paid annual leave (from memory 20 days a year, plus bank holidays). However, your company does not have to approve any specific application, and can put stipulations on when leave may be taken, and how long a single leave period can last.

It may be that you could still ask for an exemption to the rule - but make sure to ask way in advance.

  • 1
    5.6 weeks (28 days) but that can include bank holidays in the 28 days. You're not actually entitled to bank holidays (as anyone who's ever worked IT Support can attest to, I always got Boxing Day on the support rota in my last job) but you still have to get 28 days paid leave if you're full time, or your pro-rata entitlement if you're not Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 15:49

IMHO, In case of religious holidays, you should directly approach HR / owner, it may be allowed by exception

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .