Can employers force workers to take holiday during furlough? An Update.

Can employers force workers to take holiday during furlough? An Update.

The government has updated their guidance to employees regarding the furlough scheme. This update is correct as at 14th May 2020 but there may be further changes and updates.


Following the Government’s update last month in their guidance to employees that holiday can be taken on furlough, they have today issued guidance to employers confirming that (as we suspected) employers can require workers to take holiday. It also confirms the requirement to give notice twice as long as the period of holiday to be taken.

The guidance does highlight the fact that holidays have as their purpose the workers rest, and goes on to advise that the employer considers whether an employee can do this when socially distancing. It is clear that in spite of this advice, the employer can force the employee to take holiday.

It has already been made clear that holiday pay is at full pay, and not at the 80% allowed back under the furlough scheme.

As well as confirming the ability to require workers to take holiday, it has also been confirmed that employers can cancel holiday, provided notice of the same length as the planned holiday is given. This also applies to requiring workers to work on a bank holiday, even if they would not normally be required to work on a bank holiday.

The guidance to employees can be read HERE

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