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Q: One of our employees has resigned, giving his full three months’ notice and we would like to put him on garden leave. Can we insist that he uses up all of his outstanding holiday whilst he is on garden leave? A: An employer is entitled to nominate specific dates when an employee must take their statutory annual holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations. However, the employer must give a minimum of twice the number of days’ notice in advance of the start of the holiday period. So, for example, if an employee had 12 days’ holiday entitlement to use up, they would need to be given 24 days’ notice that you require them to take it from a certain date. In this case, as the employee is on garden leave for three months, there will be time for this but had they only had to give one month’s notice, then this would not have been possible. The only exception to this would be if there was a clause in the employee’s contract that stipulated that any unused holiday should be taken during the notice period, in which case there would be no problem.

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