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opinion; DWF's Emma Harvey on how bosses should field annual leave requests.

Byline: Emma Harvey

WITH school holidays on the horizon, it's the time of year when bosses are bombarded with additional annual leave requests.

Although the law is very clear that employers are not required to provide more than the statutory 4.8 weeks, the laws surrounding parental leave and flexible working are not as clear cut.

Businesses need to ascertain exactly what is being requested - is it a simple request for unpaid time off ? Or is it parental leave or a flexible working request? Both allow time off in certain circumstances.

Once this is established, businesses can then make a judgment as to whether or not the employee qualifies for this leave. They should consider factors such as how long they have been at the company and whether or not they are responsible for the child.

Businesses need to consider the employee's personal circumstances and their own circumstances, as well as the potential justifications for accepting or refusing a request.

If they decide to refuse a request for annual leave, they need to be prepared to justify their decision. If they grant the request, they need to ensure that their employee does not suffer any discrimination or other detrimental effect as a result of exercising their legal rights.

Furthermore, employers need to be mindful that granting additional annual leave to an employee can set a dangerous and expensive precedent.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2010
Words:229
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