Can an employer make you cancel your holiday?

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
I work for a large company but in a small team of 2. There always needs to be 1 of us in work as there isn't anyone else in the company who can do our work or has the required access to do so.
The other person is currently off work for "personal reasons" but I have a vacation book this Friday for 4 nights and am worried my wok will force me to cancel it.
Other than the monetary loss, which I assume they would have to cover, there is the mental health issue where both my wife and I need this 4 day break.
Like of lot of people over the past 12 months we have had a rough ride. My brother died 1 year ago and My Mum is seriously Ill in Hospital after suffering a stroke and my mother in law has terminal cancer.

What are my rights if my boss tells me to cancel?
 

Foster

Distinguished Member
As long as they give enough notice then yes they can.
 

pat clancy

Active Member
I think 3 days notice is not enough , So should not demand you cancel your holiday in my eyes.
I'm not sure what the law or your contract says
 

Belzok

Well-known Member
Should be notice of length of leave plus 1 day so sounds like it's not enough notice to cancel.

Might say different in your contract though so check.
 

wiz

Distinguished Member
Think its wrong it is possible be put in that position in the first place
 

TheShrike

Well-known Member
Agree with wiz - its stupid for the company to expose itself in such a way. What would happen if one of you were on holiday backpacking around Asia and the other got hospitalized?
However if you want to do well at the company I'd suck it up this time, but do try to make them see sense on how dangerous the lack of cover is for the company.
 

Downinja

Well-known Member
I work for a large company but in a small team of 2. There always needs to be 1 of us in work as there isn't anyone else in the company who can do our work or has the required access to do so.
The other person is currently off work for "personal reasons" but I have a vacation book this Friday for 4 nights and am worried my wok will force me to cancel it.
Other than the monetary loss, which I assume they would have to cover, there is the mental health issue where both my wife and I need this 4 day break.
Like of lot of people over the past 12 months we have had a rough ride. My brother died 1 year ago and My Mum is seriously Ill in Hospital after suffering a stroke and my mother in law has terminal cancer.

What are my rights if my boss tells me to cancel?

Anything you can do remotely?

Maybe take a laptop and charge them an on call rate?
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
@Belzok is correct, unless your contract says otherwise.


Although "4 nights" doesn't mean much in this context as we don't know if you normally work weekends, so don't know how many work days you've booked off.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
@Belzok is correct, unless your contract says otherwise.


Although "4 nights" doesn't mean much in this context as we don't know if you normally work weekends, so don't know how many work days you've booked off.
No, I don't work weekends
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
Anything you can do remotely?

Maybe take a laptop and charge them an on call rate?
I already work remotely but I will be travelling on Friday so will be unable to log in
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
Agree with wiz - its stupid for the company to expose itself in such a way. What would happen if one of you were on holiday backpacking around Asia and the other got hospitalized?
However if you want to do well at the company I'd suck it up this time, but do try to make them see sense on how dangerous the lack of cover is for the company.
It was pointed out 2 years ago by me and has been documented.

Who would be liable to pay for the accommodation that I've already paid for and is non refundable at this point?
 

Belzok

Well-known Member
No, I don't work weekends
Sounds like they would need to give 3 days notice in that case, which at this point they can't give.

It should be the absolute last option for the employer as it carries bucketloads of bad will and can lead to constructive dismissal.

They should, at the very least, cover costs and I would personally expect additional days holidays for helping them out.

They haven't asked as yet I take it, it's just a worry?
 

MSW

Distinguished Member
I work for a large company but in a small team of 2. There always needs to be 1 of us in work as there isn't anyone else in the company who can do our work or has the required access to do so.
The other person is currently off work for "personal reasons" but I have a vacation book this Friday for 4 nights and am worried my wok will force me to cancel it.
Other than the monetary loss, which I assume they would have to cover, there is the mental health issue where both my wife and I need this 4 day break.
Like of lot of people over the past 12 months we have had a rough ride. My brother died 1 year ago and My Mum is seriously Ill in Hospital after suffering a stroke and my mother in law has terminal cancer.

What are my rights if my boss tells me to cancel?

I think the answer re leave is covered by others, I am assuming the Friday is the first day if leave and you are due to return next Thursday, hence you are free and safe, so enjoy.

By the way, your boss is sh*t at his job, the first, last and always priority for any Boss (person accountable for maintaining delivery of service), is to ensure that there is no SMD’s.

Been there myself as a manager and been told, no access, no skills blah blah blah. You Boss should have people skilled up, with access etc ready to step in when needed. If you boss is only in charge of just you and the other person the he is not really the boss, but, in that case he should be skilled up because he’s not doing very much if he only looks after two people.

Ugh what I don’t get is, why have you not already had the conversation with your boss rather than posting on here. We can tell you what the can’t do, but you boss can confirm what they are going or not going to do.

Are you really just going to leave on Thursday without any handover to anyone, won’t doing that make you more stressed about coming back. Your boss should know but ask him what his plans are for the time you are off.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
Sounds like they would need to give 3 days notice in that case, which at this point they can't give.

It should be the absolute last option for the employer as it carries bucketloads of bad will and can lead to constructive dismissal.

They should, at the very least, cover costs and I would personally expect additional days holidays for helping them out.

They haven't asked as yet I take it, it's just a worry?
Yes, its just a worry. My colleague may be back tomorrow, at which point its all moot
 

WMD

Active Member
Best to ask your boss directly.

I honestly think it depends on the nature of your boss.

Where I work, I always have to have a yes attitude to my boss. Even if I say no and it is within my right, they will find a way to punish me. o_O
 

Belzok

Well-known Member
Yes, its just a worry. My colleague may be back tomorrow, at which point its all moot
Well if you're holiday is a long weekend, Friday to Monday, then it's too late for them to cancel.

They may well still ask but you can say no.

Employment is a two way street, employers often ignore that. Depends how comfortable you feel pushing back.

Does your wife work, if so it becomes much easier to say no as she's used annual leave.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I've only had this once where my boss basically instructed me to cancel my holiday because she couldn't organize cover as she'd left it too late to do so.

My response was "I'm sure when my job is essential, my pay will reflect it"...

There's no way I would give up holiday at short notice. If there's rules around how far in the future you need to book holiday, there needs to be reciprocal rules once it's been agreed.
 

Zombie Twin

Well-known Member
Not quite the same, but about 8 years ago, I was working for a homecare company. I was given the worst jobs (the violent, the drunks, the sh*t-throwers, etc) as they new nobody else would take them, and all of the decent, higher-paying work was given to the "favourites".

I worked every single bank holiday without complaint. I was popular with the clients, as I am foolishly cursed with empathy, and one year, I was rostered on to work Christmas Day. I wasn't happy, but I did it.

The following year, I booked Christmas Day off, as I had my twin brother travelling 200 miles to stay over, and was not going to miss out two years in a row. I overheard a bunch of other workers discussing that they had just been given Christmas Day off, and how they were going to get pissed-up over the festive period. Knowing how favouritism worked within the company, I had a funny feeling I was about to get screwed.

Yep - a couple of hours earlier I received a call from my the manager, telling me that to make things "fair" for other workers, I was to work on the 25th that year. I told her that 1) I had family coming over, and 2) that I had worked that day last year. I was met with "I appreciate that..." and "I understand that...", with no intention of taking these factors into account. To really make things worse, this all involved a 45min appointment 11am, and another at 6pm. For the sake of an hour, I had to work on Christmas Day. With the work you do, it really knocks the enthusiasm out of you.

To (finally) cut to the chase, I was fuming that my working all bank holidays and the previous Christmas were considered inconsequential, and as I have suffered from depression for years (still do!) I went straight out and got a Doctor's Note from my GP, covering a one-week period which lasted until just after the big day.

I went into the office, walked up to the manager and handed it over. Her exact words were a combination of anger and blitheness:

"Oh, you've got a doctor's note. Oh very good..."

I read her response as: "Oh well, looks like we'll have to find another idiot, as this one has worked out how to get around it".
 
Last edited:

depot

Well-known Member
@RicksonGracie1972 only you know what your company is like, but ours had one of many crises a couple of years ago, out of about twenty workers in our section that were asked to “volunteer” to work extra, only one guy refused, which was for valid personal reasons, less than two months later he was on longer working there. Sad thing is everyone knew he was gone the moment he refused to “help out”
 

tiacat

Member
Not saying this is what I do.... but, the best solution is to simply not answer the phone - and disable the voicemail.

Only sorting things out when back at work.

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

*Other solutions may be available!
yes the minute you start asking for permission, the manager then thinks 'oh there is a possibility that he thinks I can cancel his leave'.

I wouldnt disable my phone while Im at work, certainly would while Im on leave but a handover to the manager to say, this will need cover while Im off as Im not sure if X is back from sick leave yet.
 

GarethP

Well-known Member
Agree with wiz - its stupid for the company to expose itself in such a way. What would happen if one of you were on holiday backpacking around Asia and the other got hospitalized?
However if you want to do well at the company I'd suck it up this time, but do try to make them see sense on how dangerous the lack of cover is for the company.
We were a team of 4, then 2 now down to just me for the last 6 years. Single point of cover for systems and all interfaces that submit fuel duty payments to HMRC… it’s just me. I don’t even think anyone else has the sys admin passwords. They’ve been told numerous times and I’ve trained backup folks but nobody want to learn the legacy stuff that’s in place… I always thought one day it’ll bite them. Looks like they will get away with is as, after 20 years, these systems are finally getting replaced after one more cycle!!

I’ve always bent over backwards to help. Arranged holidays around period ends. But I was away when they called the last emergency budget which always causes issues. They manage…
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
For myself at my place of work the company handbook states that the first person on a shift to book specific dates within a reasonable time frame is entitled and can take these dates off .

The holiday booking forms however state that the department manager has to sign off and approve these holiday dates , as in if it has been covered.


I've always taken mine , given ample time for cover and taken the dates I put in .

If my manager can't get cover then fudge it as the company handbook covers my arse on holiday .
 

pat clancy

Active Member
Mobile phones , WhatsApp is a bug bear at my job, I have blocked lots of people because of it ,I now refuse to give out my number.
 

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