Can holidays be taken during furlough?

Can holidays be taken during furlough?

The simple answer to this very commonly asked question is “We don’t know, no one knows yet”


And the answer may not come in time for Good Friday and Easter Monday.

As at 9th April 2020 there is no clear government guidance on this question. ACAS have changed their opinion and now say that holidays may be able to be taken, and several commentators on the point have differing views.


The risk

The risk of allowing holiday to be taken is that if it turns out not to count as Furlough, then it will remove the ability to lawfully claim back the 80% pay for an entire 3 week period (the minimum furlough).  If therefore an employer pays for the bank holiday, for their entire workforce, say 10 staff, they might be incurring liability to find 30 weeks of wages. (10 multiplied by 3).


The risk of not giving holiday during furlough

This is that holidays continue to accrue while the employee is on furlough, without being taken. This means that in future, the employer will need to fund these holidays being taken, perhaps in busier times.

There are indications that holiday will be permitted during furlough, but no guarantee as yet, and it could go either way. Each employer will simply need to make their own decision based on how they view risk.



If leave is given by an employer, the employee will still need to be paid their full wage for the holiday, in accordance with current law.

As soon as a clear answer is available we will publish it.

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