Guide

Allowing time off work

Introduction

Your staff may request time off for a range of reasons - eg because of illness, to assist a family member, to go on holiday, do jury and magistrate service or undertake trade union duties.

Some of these activities, notably public and trade union duties and parental/dependant responsibilities, carry statutory rights to time off - ie your employees have the right to the time off and you can't unreasonably refuse.

There may be occasions when the employer is entitled to agree, postpone or delay the taking of leave eg postponing parental leave if it would cause substantial disruption or harm to the business.

In other situations, you can choose how you handle requests for time off.

This guide looks at issues that arise when an employee - or other type of worker - exercises their right to request time off.

It also suggests ways of dealing with requests for time off work where an employee - or other type of worker - has no legal right to take it.