Annual leave policy

An annual leave policy is there to make it clear what your team is entitled to and how to arrange time off in a fair and consistent manner. Having a policy that your team can refer to brings visibility to the system and helps avoid conflict.

Download our completely free template

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How to use the template

Once you have downloaded the annual leave policy template please have a detailed read through and fill in any blanks.

It’s vital to check the template carefully and make any changes necessary to align it with your existing policies and procedures.

You must be certain that you’re complying with relevant employment law. If in doubt we suggest getting help from an employment law specialist.

What’s included?

This annual leave policy covers annual holiday entitlement, how to arrange it with the agreement of your manager, carry over to the following year and how it interacts with other absence types.

It also has a statement on what happens at the end of employment, this will need aligning to your employment contracts.

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The policy wording

Annual Leave Policy

What is this policy for?

Taking time off to rest and recuperate is important. You should spend time with your family and friends, have a holiday or just put your feet up. We all need a healthy work-life balance.

That’s why everyone gets an annual holiday allowance.

This Annual Leave Policy explains how to agree holidays with your manager, how we deal with requests in a fair and consistent way, and answers some important questions about your holiday allowance.

What is the holiday year?

Our holiday year runs from [specify your holiday year e.g. 1 January to 31 December].

What is your holiday allowance?

You can find your holiday allowance in your contract of employment.

During your first and last year of work, your allowance is reduced proportionately. This reflects the proportion of time you worked during that year.

How you request time off

Please request and organise your holidays well in advance, so that we can plan for your absence and arrange for your work to be covered.

If you’re off work without getting your manager’s approval, we’ll treat it as unauthorised absence.

[If you use Timetastic]

We use Timetastic to organise all time off work, and we’ll give you the login details you need. In Timetastic you can request time off, see if it clashes with anyone else in your department, and keep track of how much holiday allowance you have left.

[If you don’t use Timetastic]

Describe your system for requesting time off here.

How we decide whether or not to approve your request

We’ll make every effort to agree your requests.

We deal with requests on a first-come, first-served basis.

We consider how much work we have on and any deadlines we need to meet.

What if you want a long holiday?

Longer holidays can be more difficult for us to work around. If you want more than [insert time period] weeks off, please discuss it with your manager.

Can you carry your holiday allowance into next year?

We prefer you to use all your holiday allowance during the year, but we know it’s not always possible.

You can carry forward [number of days/ hours] into the next year.

What if you’re sick while on holiday?

If you’re sick while on annual leave, any days covered by a medical certificate can be switched to sickness. Talk to your manager if this happens.

If you do switch some time to sickness, our Staff Absence Policy applies.

What happens when you leave?

There are a few options we can use if some holiday allowance is left when you come to leave our employment. We’ll decide which option is best at the time.

  1. Take the time off during your notice period.
  2. Pay you the equivalent value in your final salary.
  3. A mix of the two.

[Only use the following statement if your contracts of employment allow you to make deductions from pay.]

At the end of your employment, if you’ve taken more annual leave than has accrued, we’ll deduct the value of the excess from your final salary.