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Paid Holiday: Loss of Entitlement

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The EAT (HHJ Ansell) has handed down its decision in Lyons v Mitie Security, which is authority for the proposition that the right to statutory leave in Regulation 13 of the Working Time Regulations is not inalienable; statutory or contractual notice requirements could correctly operate so as to result in the loss of the right to leave at the end of the year leave in respect of leave not taken.

Considering Regulations 13, 15 and 17 of the WTR (the right to leave and the position on notice requirements for leave), the EAT asked whether an employer is legally obliged to permit an employee to take all of his paid leave within the leave year, even if the leave is requested towards the end of the leave year when it may not fit with the staffing patterns of the business. Noting the absence of case law, the EAT was satisfied that the right to statutory leave has been made subject to notice provisions, and thus the loss of leave at the end of the leave year could follow.