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Hi I work for the NHS my line manager has told our department that we can only book our leave one month before we want it e.g If I want my two weeks leave in July I cant ask for it until June which leaves it a bit late to book anything as we may not get an answer until two weeks before the holiday date

Also if there is a problem with to many staff booking the same days , we have to fight amongst ourselves as to who is having it regardless who booked first

Does anyone know if there is a set criteria for notice periods when booking block leave in the NHS or is it up to your manager to make the rules up

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Sorry - can't speak for the NHS, (although reading various policies published online for different Trusts your arrangement does appear to be either new or unique to your area) but in general terms the employer does have an absolute right to determine when holiday may or may not be taken so long as your contract says so. In that respect they can impose a policy such as the one that you describe providing that it permits employees to book all of their entitlement and remains within the law - unless your contract allows for different holiday booking arrangements. As for sorting out dates amongst yourselves, or operating a first come first served policy - again completely lawful so long as your contract says it is.

 

The time limits that you describe do though present one or two possible problems. An employee has to give at least twice the notice of taking a holiday as for the period being requested - so if you were asking for two weeks off you would have to give a months notice. Just about possible but what would happen if you were asking for three weeks off? The employer, in the event that holiday is refused, must give the same notice for the period of holiday that was requested, so seven days notice of refusal for a weeks holiday requested.

 

Not exactly fair or reasonable (even if lawful in theory) and I would be asking for clarification - for example when asking for extended leave and the likely response time for any request to be agreed or refused. You will almost certainly have a contract which currently says something different, so is this change going to be formalised by issuing new T&Cs? What about any Union involvement - in an organisation such as the NHS there would be some sort of collective agreement - has the Union agreed to this change? Do they even know about it? Maybe even worth a grievance, especially in view of the likely increased cost of travel at short notice if booking flights for example.


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I would definitely up the ladder with this. There can be no staff planning with such short notice. This is the sort of person that is bringing the NHS into disrepute.

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