Hi all,

I have just started in my new HR role and one question i've been asked is an employee query with regards to holiday that was pre-agreed before joining the company. the Employee seems to think this shouldn't come out of their annual holiday entitlement.

My natural reaction is that it should; the company may accommodate the dates that have already been agreed however since joining the company you are entitled to a certain number of days leave per year which will be pro-rated from the employee's start date. The pre-agreed holiday should therefore be taken out of the employee's annual entitlement.

The employee is complaining and has claimed there is a 'rule' which dictates any pre-agreed holiday prior to starting a new role should be given as additional leave and should not be taken out of their annual entitlement. I have looked but cannot find anything on this 'rule'. Is anyone else aware of this and would you agree with my opinion above?

Thanks so much!


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  • Hi Sophie, 

    I work in Recruitment and have not yet experienced a situation where we have not honored a new starter's pre-booked holiday however this is taken out of their annual leave entitlement upon them joining the business. I have previously wondered whether there are any specific rules or guidelines around this topic, so interesting to read other people's views. 



  • Hi Sophie, could in be unpaid parental leave they are referring to?  Which I don't believe would come out their entitlement but would be unpaid. 

    In Parental leave I believe they usually have to request this so many weeks in advance, unless they have a disabled child. Usually Parental leave being requested in a week block, unless they have a disabled child. Where a request in advance with a non disabled child can only be refused within one week of asking for the leave or I believe it is granted if within the week it has not been refused. If not granted then dates within a certain period of when asked must be offered instead. Perhaps they mean parental leave and not annual leave?



    • Thank you Kirsty, they did mean annual leave in this case but i've explained to them that we'll be able to meet their requests, but this will have to come out of their leave entitlement.

      Best wishes,


  • Hi Sophie

    The employee is misinformed. You do not have to provide pre-booked holiday. In fact you do not have to honour the holiday booking, but most employers do.

    Hope this helps



    • Thank you for clarifying :)

      Hope you are well!


  • Hi Sophie,

    It's down to the discretion of the company 99.9% of companies will deduct that from accrued annual leave.

    Matter of fact I don't know a single company that would allow someone to go on holiday on their dime and then come back with no deductions.

    Remember it costs a business money for people having time off, so they're not just going to let someone have 25 days plus 14 extra (for example).

    In conclusion, it should come out of the employees AL entitlement. It keeps everything fair with other employees too. 

    Hope this helps


    • Thanks so much Abi!

  • Hi Sophie,

    I'm afraid I couldn't say with absolute certainty that there is no rule specifying that new employees should be given extra paid holiday for existing bookings, but I haven't heard of one, and a quick search online hasn't produced any evidence of one. Furthermore, I'd be quite surprised if there was a rule to that effect, but if there was I'm sure there would be some kind of clause whereby a new employee would have to notify their new employer either at interview or offer acceptance stage, otherwise any new employee could turn up on their first day and demand two months paid holiday because it's already been booked.

    If you want to get a definite answer try calling the ACAS helpline, and I think Peninsula may also have a helpline? If you're a member of the CIPD they have a free employment law helpline you can call. If the employee is still adament then I would ask him/her to produce evidence of this rule/law, and if (when) they can't that should be an end to the matter.

    Do you have a holiday/leave policy or employee handbook? If so it might be worth adding in a clause about this along the lines of "we will do our best to honour any holiday bookings made prior to your start date and this will be taken from your annual holiday entitlement or as unpaid leave', or something like that.  


    • Thank you so much Chrissy, that's really helped.


      Kind regards,


  • Hi Sophie,

    I've not come across any such rule (so would be interested to know if anyone else is aware of this, and where this is documented) and would agree that any annual leave agreed prior to starting the company should come out of any accrued annual leave for the period in question. The only exceptions I can think of is if your company policy states that any pre-agreed annual leave is taken in addition to their entitlement (which would be very unusual in my experience) or if a period of unpaid leave has been agreed, however, this would also be at the discretion of the company as I don't believe there would be any statutory obligation otherwise, and I would expect to see something confirming this in the employees personnel file.

    Not sure if that helps?

    Good luck


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