I have just resigned in my current company and I briefly mentioned I have unused annual leave left to take.

They have told me that it is company policy to pay leaving employees for unused annual leave, and thus their preferred option is that I do not take my remaining annual leave. Is that actually enforceable?

My employment contract doesn't specifically say that.

  • 1
    You mentioned their preferred option, but this does not sound like you have no choice. Even if they prefer that, they might not prevent you from taking all the leave you want. If you have the information, add it to your question - otherwise you could ask them directly whether, while you understand their preference, you can still take some of your days. – Thalantas Nov 21 '16 at 16:38
  • Some companies don't pay for unused days so you have not options but to use them. – paparazzo Nov 21 '16 at 17:41
  • @Paparazzi Notice the UK tag. – Lilienthal Nov 21 '16 at 17:41
  • Specifiying the country is useful in this situation as this depends on local law. (thisalmost belongs on the law site law.stackexchange.com), in australia its generally no, but not sure about united-kingdom, – user1605665 Nov 21 '16 at 19:43
  • What does your employment contract/agreement say - there should be a section on termination/notice – HorusKol Nov 21 '16 at 21:36

Typically leave must be approved, so theoretically they could prevent you from taking it by refusing to approve it.

Your answer indicates they would prefer you not take it, which is quite reasonable.

Here's my notice, I need to take Friday off to deal with some personal stuff.

is a lot different than

Here's my notice, my last day is in 2 weeks. BTW, I'm taking 2 weeks of leave.

Any reasonable manager would approve the first and not approve the second. The latter is effectively giving no notice and would burn bridges.

  • Fair comment, it's 4 days, so 4 days out of 4 week notice period, it's probable that some managers would see that as far too long. – Max Nov 21 '16 at 22:57
  • the only thing to do is ask - maybe ask for 4 day weeks? – HorusKol Nov 22 '16 at 21:52

their preferred option

Sounds to me like they can't stop you, but they'd rather you actually prepare to hand over your projects and files rather than sit at home for the duration of your notice period.

It's your choice whether to force the issue or not, and its within the realm of possibility that they might get angry and throw you a curve-ball at some later time out of spite.

  • 8
    I think you're missing how British Understatement works. – Rob Moir Nov 21 '16 at 20:58
  • The iron fist in the velvet glove :-) "We would prefer it if you would cooperate ... <alternative left unspoken>". – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 24 '16 at 10:49

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