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Holiday roll over – is it a legal requirement?

Holiday roll over – is it a legal requirement?

Posted: 26th October 2021

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #14517

      Hi everyone,

      Happy Tuesday!

      Can I ask two questions: w
      Who allows people to roll over holiday?
      Last year, there were new regulations which meant by law, employers should allow their staff to roll over their holiday for two years.
      However, I have had conflicting accounts of people saying their employer isn’t doing this, and other HR people saying that we don’t actually need to enforce that, it was more for NHS workers (but I can’t find anything to support that either).

      If anyone has some advice, please let me know as my teams are asking about roll over. I’d like to propose to my seniors that we should at least allow people to roll over 5 days to be used by a certain date, which is a perk I have seen (and benefited from myself) at other companies.

      Many thanks,


        Hi Sarah,

        It is not a legal requirement as far as I know.  I also remember it being for key workers who were impacted by COVID-19 e.g. could not take their annual leave due to work commitments e.g. NHS staff.  Our holiday year runs 1st Jan to 31st December and this message was posted by the government in March 2020, I assume because the NHS holiday year runs 1st April to 31st March.  We decided that none of our workers would be impacted by COVID e.g. they could still take leave when they wanted and there would be no massive impact that would stop them.  We also asked people to take leave, even though they could not go away on holiday and linked this to Health and Wellbeing and the need to take time away from work to ensure they used their holiday.  We do already allow 5 days carry over anyway and did not increase this in 2020/21



          Our approach has been the opposite of what Sharon mentioned. We did take the view that this was applicable to ALL workers and didn’t particularly scrutinise whether the not taking of leave was directly as a result of the Pandemic or not.

          The page on the GOV.UK site ( does not say anything about this amendment to the WTR being applicable to NHS staff or any subset of the workforce such as ‘essential workers’ or anything like that.

          At any rate, like I said, we made a conscious decision to take the approach that we saw as being most favourable to our employees rather than drilling too deeply into the legal interpretation of the rules.

          Hope this helps.






            It is not a legal requirement. Alok Sharma allowed a carry forward last year (announced in March 2020) of 5 days where people could not take all of their STATUTORY leave DUE to COVID.  these are 2 important preconditions.  Often contractual holiday is more than statutory and the rules only applied to the more limited statutory minimum leave.  Also people must have been able to claim they could not take their leave due to COVID as opposed to any other reason.


            In our business, due to the pandemic we have been regularly communicating throughout the year that we understand how busy people and and how tired they are and the impact the pandemic has has on our people more generally.  We have encouraged regularly people taking time  off and communicating regularly that we won’t allow carry forward.  We reinforced the message that leave is a health and safety measure and that we wanted people to look after their health more than anything.  I recognise this is a different approach from other organisations but it is one that has worked and the concern shown for our people and their health has not gone un-noticed.  Of course you are where you are and if you have not communicated throughout the year the allowing 5 days c/f to be taken say within the first 2 or 3 months of the year seems to me to be entirely reasonable.




              Hi, like the others have said it isn’t a legal requirement to carry over. We have always allowed people to carry over 5 days a year if their manager allows it but these 5 days must be taken by the end of February or they are lost.

              Like the others have mentioned, the law was amended in March 2020 due to Covid, and so we have allowed people who haven’t been able to take all of their holiday due to them being the only one or one of a few in their team working (we are hospitality so 95% of our teams were furloughed for up to 18 months) to carry it over for the 2 years allowed. The only people able to do this are those who have worked continuously throughout the pandemic period which amounts to about 10% of people; if they really haven’t been able to take it at all we are allowing them to take by the end of 2022, but we are encouraging them to take as much as possible this year if they can now we are back open.


                Thank you for all of your insights, I really appreciate your feedback! 🙂


              Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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