Q&As

An employee has a contract of employment that provides for 23 days' holiday plus bank holidays. If the employer were to introduce a new holiday policy which increases the holiday entitlement of those with long service, is the employer required to write to each individual employee setting out the new holiday provisions and the changes to their holiday entitlement?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/11/2020

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An employee has a contract of employment that provides for 23 days' holiday plus bank holidays. If the employer were to introduce a new holiday policy which increases the holiday entitlement of those with long service, is the employer required to write to each individual employee setting out the new holiday provisions and the changes to their holiday entitlement?

This response assumes that the only change introduced by the new holiday policy is to increase the holiday entitlement of those with long service, and that it is not proposed to alter or decrease the holiday entitlement of employees generally.

An employment or worker contract may, like any other contract, be amended at any time either:

  1. in accordance with the terms of the contract itself (eg where a clause in the existing contract purports to give the employer the power to vary some, or all of the terms, unilaterally, without the employee's consent), or

  2. with the agreement of all the parties to the contract

For further information generally, see Practice Note: Changing terms and conditions of employment.

Changing terms and conditions relating to holiday entitlement needs particular care, given that an employee will commonly have both a contractual right to holiday and a statutory right under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR 1998), SI 1998/1833.

If the proposed variation relates solely to increasing a holiday benefit, then one would expect it to be relatively straightforward to obtain employees’ consent to it. The additional holiday is also likely to be good consideration for the variation to be effective.

Where terms of employment are collectively agreed between a union and an employer, then changes are likely to be implemented by collective agreement rather than individual consent.

For further information, see Practice Note:

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