My employer required 4 weeks notice. I sent them my resignation email on 01/Dec/2016. The email said that my last working day would be 30/Dec/2016.

In Feb 2017 I received an 'Acceptance of resignation' email from my employer. It stated that they were accepting my last day of employment as 02/Jan/2017.

I emailed HR highlighting the incorrect dates compared to my resignation email. They replied saying:

I believe the end date for January was owing to the bank holiday on the 2nd January so even though you finished working in December, your contract end date fell on the bank holiday.

Was my employer allowed to change my last working day to a later date?

The reason this is an issue is because they are refusing to pay me for unused accrued holidays during the 2016 working year (Jan-Dec). My contract stated that I'd forfeit these holidays if I did not use them, or leave the company, within the same working year.

Update on 03/Mar/2017: I contacted ACAS and they advised me to follow the companies grievance procedure before taking any further action. After informal talks with multiple staff over the course of two weeks, they eventually agreed to pay me the money that they owed. As highlighted by user52889 below, it is worth acting quickly if you find yourself in a similar situation to mine as there is a three month time limit for making a claim and not completing all of the recommended steps beforehand could reduce the amount of compensation awarded to you if the case does end up going to an employment tribunal.

Thanks everyone for your answers - they were much appreciated. :)

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    In the UK, I'd take a copy of your contract along to the Citizens' Advice Bureau who offer excellent (and free) employment law advice. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 21:35
  • I'm not sure if it's clear from Laconic Droid's answer, but your question, if you choose to pursue the legal avenue, might require an answer from a lawyer, not from a site such as ours. Meanwhile, on the whole, it seems to me that it had not been set yet and that you had proposed a date and that they had disagreed. What do you think? Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 9:43
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    Not a full answer, just ancilliary advice: be aware that there is a three month time frame for your tribunal claim (which you should assume to have started on 30 Dec), and there's now a substantial procedure you need to follow before you can file your ET1 form. Your union rep will help you with this, contact them immediately. If you didn't join the union, the CAB or an employment lawyer will be able to help - but don't waste any time getting proper advice.
    – user52889
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 11:37
  • You forfeit those holidays if you ... OR leave the company within the same working year. That says that if you leave in 2016, you forfeit the holidays for 2016. It sounds like you would want to leave in 2017 to me. Am I misreading that, or is it a wording mistake.
    – Ryan
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


Greedy bastards. You mailed them on a Thursday, telling them your last working day was on Friday four weeks later. That is more than four weeks notice. They are required to accept that notice.

That "acceptance of resignation" email in February 2017 is pathetic. That's two months after your notice, and more than a month after you actually quit! But there is no need for them to accept anything. You sent a notice, within the required time frame, that's it. Your job ended 30th of December, no matter what they say. Whether they accept your notice, or they don't accept it, or change the date, your job ended on the 30th. What they could have done legally would have been to give you four weeks notice to the 29th of December if they acted quickly, but they cannot change your notice.

On the other hand, how much holidays are we talking about? Because if they say your job ended on the 2nd of January, then they have to pay you the three days 31st of December to 2nd of January.

Citizens' Advice Bureau will tell you what kind of letter to write to them.

Reading the comments: So it did indeed take someone one month to come up with the cunning plan to pay you for the 2nd of January (bank holiday) and in turn stiff you for ten days of paid holidays. But as I said, you gave enough notice, therefore your job ends on the day that was the last day according to your notice. The only way they could change the date would be by giving you notice with an earlier finishing day.

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    I don't know about this specific employer, or UK rules, but some employers only pay for a holiday if you are employed by them on both the business day before and the business day after. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 22:35
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    Also, "holiday time" in English can include what would be called "vacation time" in American. The OP may have a substantial vacation time balance that they are trying to get out of paying. Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 1:43
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    They even say you "actually finished" in december. So they have no leg to stand on here. Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 8:24
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    @gnasher729 - I had approximately 10 unused holidays/annual leave/vacation days remaining. They paid me for 02/Jan/2017 in my last payslip as I (according to them) still worked for the company and it was a bank holiday (we are paid for bank holidays). That shouldn't have been the case though as I had already left the company by that point. Dec 31st & Jan 1st fell on a weekend so my last payslip does not include pay for those days. I contacted ACAS and they advised me to follow the companies grievance procedure before raising an Early Conciliation if needed.
    – Terry
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 17:47
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    But if his notice period is 4 weeks and he worked for 4 weeks, then I think the law would be on his side. They stated he finished in December, so he is definitely in the right Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 13:11

When you leave a job you have the right to be paid for any untaken leave (regardless of the reason). An employment contract cannot overrule this statutory requirement.

Source: http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/5/h/Acas-guide-Holidays-and-holiday-pay.pdf (page 9)

I would point this out to them, and contact acas if it is not resolved to your satisfacton.

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    The employer tries to get around this: Apparently the contract says that he loses the holiday entitlement if he doesn't take it in that year. So if they could extend his contract to the 2nd of January that entitlement would be lost.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 19:08

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