Holidays are a given part of any working year and, although they are fundamental, some people struggle with asking their employer for holiday hours. Talking to your employer about holidays isn’t as daunting as you may think.

For some, even arranging the holiday itself can be stressful. So, it’s hugely important that you do not place on yourself the added stress having to book last-minute days off from work.

As an employee, you and your employer have a duty to each other to work together. Forming a good relationship is cardinal when it comes to arranging your holidays.

You can work towards developing this relationship from the start of your employment by being trustworthy and reliable, as well as being friendly and helpful. Once you have established a good relationship with your employer, you will stand a better chance of maximising your benefits, such as holiday entitlement.

So, let’s take a look at some other things you can do to ensure you get the holidays you’re entitled to.

Why Are Holidays Important?


Whilst it might seem contradictory, holidays actually help a business run more smoothly in the long run, despite the short term issues.

Holidays allow employees to relax and avoid work for a shorter or extended period of time (whilst, in most cases, being paid). This is key to reducing friction within a workspace and also reducing the impact of workloads on an employee.

An employee can use the holidays as an escape from work. Constant and repetitive jobs without holidays can lead to a decrease in work efficiency and also reduce the standard of work.

In fact, holidays are a necessity in life for all workers and, as an employee, it can almost become a goal to aim for. After all, it’s your reward for putting in the maximum effort – a well-earned period of rest and relaxation every now and again! You’ve earned it!

Image of mother and daughter on beach depicting importance of holidays

What Are Your Employee Rights For Annual Leave?


Most people working full time in the United Kingdom are entitled to 28 days of holiday leave annually if you work 5 days a week. In cases where this figure is different, then you are entitled to the number of days you work a week multiplied by 5.6.

These can include or exclude bank holidays and some offices may ask you to take bank holidays as part of your paid holidays or require you to work on bank holidays.

In places where workers’ unions can be found it is likely that there are negotiations for higher pay for workers who come in on bank holidays.

Part-time workers annual leave entitlement is based proportionately on the number of hours they work within a week.

It is unlikely you can carry forward unused holiday hours into the next year under normal circumstances. However, under the law, you can do so if you were physically unable to fulfil your holiday hours due to sickness, maternity or injury.

The long and short of it, however, is that you are entitled to time off work, so make sure you take it!

Before Talking To Your Employer About Holidays

Identify A Good Time

The first step is to make sure you select your holidays wisely and carefully; do not just select the most prime times. In fact, it’s wise to make sure you have a plan before you even start selecting your holidays.

Make sure you also have a backup in case either the holidays are rejected for specific reasons or circumstances change.

Identifying your holiday earlier will give you a better chance of securing the time off you want. Make sure your choice is also clear and thoughtful and also ensure you have a second choice as a backup.

Check With Others

Secondly, make sure you check with others, both at work and at home. A clash of dates can influence the decision about your holiday dates massively. Particularly if local festivals are taking places and others are in attendance, for example.

Hence, check work calendars to see that your hours haven’t already been taken by other colleagues. Also make sure to check your own calendar at home with family members.

Sometimes, unforeseen issues may crop up – and that’s unavoidable – however, to give yourself the best chance of getting the holiday dates you want, do a bit of forward planning in advance and all should be well.

Image of colleagues talking to check holidays

How To Talk To Your Employer About Holidays


It’s always a good idea to speak to your boss first in a more informal way when discussing your holidays. Perhaps as a quick chat or another form of communication, such as a quick email. This both prepares your boss and acts as a penultimate check for you.

Dependent on your relationship with your boss, they may also identify issues with the hours that you want, which you may have not recognised or may have forgotten.

Once you have passed this final check, you are then ready to finalise the holidays by inputting a formal request along with any required documentation. Then you’re ready to go on your annual leave and have a stress free holiday, knowing that everything at work is sorted.

Get In Touch


Some people can find it stressful talking to their employer about holidays. However, as long as you listen and follow the above information, it is unlikely that you will struggle with getting to enjoy your holidays when you want.

These simple steps will help ensure you get the annual leave allowance you want. Although, it’s key to also know your employee rights and understand the importance of holidays themselves, both to you and to the business you work for.

If you want to make your workplace a better space, then get in touch with Wellspace today.

You can do so by filling in the contact form on our website or getting directly in touch via email through

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