I work for a large UK organization, who employ large numbers of (mainly) part time staff. Every year it seems there is the same problem. The annual leave year runs from April to April and all leave has to be booked (at least) 6 weeks in advance. Absolutely no leave is permitted to be carried forward to the following leave year (or paid in lieu), and all leave is granted on a first come, first served basis. Tight restrictions are in place, so that only a certain number of 'leave hours' are allowed per week - in my opinion woefully inadequate given the large number of employees.
The system works fine if all staff spread their leave equally throughout the year. But inevitably there is a pile up of requests for the months of March / April and those who get their leave applications in after others are refused and told that we must 'forfeit' our leave. I applied in February for the few odd (remaining) days in April but was turned down since other employees got their applications in before mine. The trouble is, it's not always possible to know which dates so far in advance (unless you are booking a main holiday away or something). Besides, I like to keep a couple of days back - just in case of emergencies or something.
After this refusal, I asked if my remaining (few days) leave could then be allocated to any 'spare' slots, and was told that the whole of March & April was already fully booked and that I must lose this leave. Unfortunately a similar thing happened last year (when I'd only just started at the company and wasn't able to book leave months in advance. After a battle, we were finally given our leave - but it was a nasty situation at the time). This year, I was told that we had been warned about the leave situation (from the previous year and subsequently) and that it was my fault for not booking sooner.
What should I do? Should I just accept that it's my fault for not getting my application in sooner (I gave 2 months advance notice instead of the required 6 week minimum and it's only for a few odd days) or should I try to fight for it (with senior management) and risk a nasty situation like last year?