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Forced To Take Holidays

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Hi there,


I have a work related question but am unsure which forum to post it in, so I thought I`d try this one.


I work in a factory and like everyone we are almost upon our Christmas holidays.


The thing is, we were due back at work on Wednesday January 2nd, but due to there not being much work for that week we have been told we have to take an extra 3 holidays, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and start back at work on Monday 7th January.


The problem is, we must pay these 3 days back either by -


1. Paying back 1 hours pay a week.


2. Use 1 and a half days of our floating days from next year and then pay back the other 1 and a half days via 1 hours pay eack week.


3. We can take them off without pay.


I was wondering, can they actually force us to do this? I was under the impression that if they wish us to take extra time off they should give us the time off with pay, and not expect us to pay it back or take it off at our expense.


Is there some Work or Factories Act regarding this?


This dodgy deal affects only the permanent staff such as myself as the temp workers have their own problems.


I can`t really think of any other information to add to help you people but if you need to know anything else then please ask.


I look forward to hearing from you soon.






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Yes they can force you to take your annual leave allocation at certain times, but why isn't this leave being taken out of your annual leave allocation as normal? Please clarify.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Hi there,


Thanks for the post barracad.


Basically we have set holidays and floating days. The set holidays are for bank holidays, Christmas, Easter etc. The floating days are whats left out of our annual total to take whenever we want. I also have 1 extra floating day because I have a service day for 5 years service.


Because we don`t have much work on the week we were expected back, on the 2nd of January, they want us to take 3 extra holidays off.


But, we have to take them at our expense. We can take them without pay. Or, pay back 1 hours pay a week for X amount of weeks, or use one and a half days from our floating days and pay the other one and a half days back by 1 hours pay a week.


When I state 1 hours pay a week. I mean they take back 1 hours pay from each weeks wages, as we get paid fortnightly, they will take back £15.04 from our wages as we are on £7.52 an hour.


I know this may sound somewhat confusing but I hope it makes sense.


I was just wondering if there was any working Act that states if employee`s are forced to take time off, then the company must compensate them.


Thanks again.






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I still don't get why you can't take the full 3 days out of your "floating" allocation. Or is it that in your particular case you've simply used the rest of your leave and only have 1.5 days remaining?


Your employer can dictate that you must take your leave on specific dates - for example school teachers immediately spring to mind. However this whole set up of them asking you to take half as leave and then pay them back for the other half does sound rather odd.

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Hi again,


We can take them out of our floating days if we wished, but why should we if there is insufficient work that week and they want us to stop off?.


That was just one way of paying them back. The other as I mentioned was 1 hour a week from our pay untill the full 3 days were paid back, or, the half floating days and half pay back.


So, is this whole thing legal? Where, if they can`t find us work and they want us to stay off, they can do this? Shouldn`t they give us time off with pay?






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The answer is yes and no.


Now a company can NOT force you to take holidays if there is no work, Part of a contract is an agreement to pay you for work done, to turn up for work Monday to Friday or any 6 from 7 etc etc.


Now a contract has two sides and the company agrees to pay you for turning up for work, it is not your fault if the company can not find work for you.


If you wish to work then they HAVE to pay you. Lots of companies try this on, tell them that you will not take the days off as leave and if they do not pay you, then you will start legal proceedings to recover your pay. You must put this in writing as a grievance.

If they agree to pay you, they do not have to give you the time off. They can make you sit at work for you shift, they can make you sweep the floor etc etc.


Now they CAN force you if there is a clause in your contract giving them the right. You need to check this.....


With teachers etc it will form part of their contract about taking holidays etc.

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They can write to you (giving sufficent notice) to instruct you to take your holidays on certain dates.


Sufficient notice is defined in the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended) as being double the length of the holiday period.


HOWEVER if they have already notified you to take Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve (and employees have planned their personal holiday around this) I don't see how the company can then issue a seperate notice to take _extra_ pre-determined holiday.

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Hi there,


Thanks for the posts advisee and cal37.


Those are two very interesting posts, especially the post from cal37.


The problem now is this, tomorrow Wednesday) is our last day and we are due back on January 7th. Thursday and Friday of this week are in fact extra days off we have been given with pay, as the company has done so well this year.


Now, as I say, we were due back on the Wednesday 2nd but are now due back the following Monday 7th, as we have been told we MUST take the 2, 3 and 4th off, either out of our floating days or out of our pay, paying back one hours pay a week. Or, a mixture of both. So, saying that, everyone has picked an option as we were told we MUST stay off.


The company has a Union, which I am not in as it is totaly useless, it seems the Company just does what it wants and the Union simply stalls things.


To be honest, I think as tomorrow is our last day and we are due back AFTER the 3 days in question, that it may be too late. However, saying that, if cal37`s post is correct, then we have been lied too and forced to stay off at our expense.


Cal37, do you know any legislation to back up your comments, IE if they say they have no work and we are available for work etc? I may feel like challenging their lies at a later date. They have pulled this one on us before.


Further to advisee`s post. We have set holidays at Christmas ever year. This year they say we must take an extra 3 days straight after due to a lack of work.


Anyway, time for tea, many thanks for both of your comments.






If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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Wouldnt it be more to your advantage to have the given time off during xmas, most companys only give employees one or two days off, myself only has xmas day off this year. so would grab the chance with both hands to have more time off, i also work within the distribution service, and getting time off would be great..

Ask yourself if the company said take the time off with pay would you be writing such a thread, i think not, but since you have been advised that the time will be taken from ur holiday allowance, you seek why...

If the company is closing for the period you state, then you would have been given notice of this, whether in the union or not, all employees have to be informed of such in writing...

My company whether busy or not, employees have to attend place of work, then it is the managements call whether to send staff home, which has to paid, as in the contract we can be flexed up or down within 2 hours notice...


I say enjoy the time off over the feastive period, with your family and friends, you lose nothing taking this time off, but gain christmas off...

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager


4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts


All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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I think that because your employer has been generous enough to give you an extra 2 days off this week with pay in addition to your normal holiday entitlement, it wouldn't seem fair to challenge having to take 2 days next week from your leave entitlement


At the end of the day, they are offering you a choice whether you want to take the 2 days next week as paid or unpaid leave and as they have given you an extra 2 days this week I don't think they are being unfair

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