By Dee Woodcock

I want to take 2.5 weeks holiday when I get married in three months time. Can I, if I have only been employed for three months?

The first step is to check what your contract of employment and your employer’s holiday policy states. The answer, in your circumstances, may already lie in these documents.

Your contract will state exactly what your holiday entitlement is. It may also state how many days’ notice you may be required to give before you can take holiday. Alternatively, this may be covered in your employer’s holiday policy.

Your employer may stipulate they only allow employees a maximum amount of holiday leave at any one time. More often than not, this is limited to a maximum of two weeks.

However, employers often reserve their position to consider and sanction requests for longer holiday leave periods in exceptional circumstances. Your wedding, hopefully, would qualify on that basis.

Given you will have only been employed for three months at the time of your request and six months by the time you wish to take your leave, you may find you are restricted to an amount of holiday leave you can take at any one point in your first year of employment.

This restriction may be to the total amount of holiday that you have accrued at the date of your request, or will have accrued when you wish to take your leave. Employers are often not keen to allow, especially new employees, holiday leave disproportionate to the amount of time they have been working for the employer.

Employers may also be reluctant to authorise a long period of leave during an employee’s probationary period. This may or may not be a consideration for your employer in your situation.

If your contract of employment or policy documents do not contain the relevant information, you should either contact your line manager or HR to ascertain and discuss the position.

Given the special nature of your request, the fact that you may have completed your probationary period and you would have accrued at least half of your holiday entitlement by the time you take your leave, you may find your employer is prepared to exercise discretion and allow you to take your holiday.

But there is no guarantee or requirement to exercise discretion in your favour. Do not book anything until you have clarified the position with your employer and had your holiday request approved and authorised.

For further information contact Dee Woodcock on 01722 410664 or email dee.woodcock@sampsoncoward.co.uk

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