Employees can request time off work for several reasons: when they are sick or stressed, when they want to relax, go on a trip or get together with family during holidays, or perhaps to have a baby, etc. Accordingly we can talk about sick leave, annual holiday and maternity or paternity leave respectively.
In the English language we can talk about the annual leave using several different words or phrases. Whereas in the United Kingdom employees talk about annual holiday, holidays or, informally, hols, in the United States of America this period of time is known as vacation or, informally, vacay and vac.
Most employees who work a five-day week are legally entitled to 28 days paid holiday per year. This is known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave. It is calculated by multiplying a normal week (five days) by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks. Details of holidays and holiday pay entitlement should be found in the employee’s written contract. An employer can grant to an employee additional annual leave, for example for long service, and an employee can also purchase it under certain schemes. An employee has the right to get paid for leave, to build up or accrue holiday entitlement during maternity or paternity leave to build up holiday entitlement while off work sick, and to choose to take holiday instead of sick leave. An employer can set the time when employees can take their leave, for example, a Christmas shut down. An employer can choose to include public holidays as part of statutory annual leave or they do not have to be given as paid leave. If employment ends, employees have the right to be paid for any leave due and not taken. The general notice period for taking leave is at least twice as long as the amount of leave an employee wants to take.
When talking about taking some time off, there are several ways to refer to it.
- She asked her boss if she could have some time off to visit her family in Germany.
- The Labour Day falls on a Thursday so many people will probably take a long weekend.
- He took three days off work, but the company didn’t pay him for them.
- They decided to have a spring break in France.
- The employee of the year will receive a well-earned mini-break to one of the islands.
- Employees are entitled to 23 days’ paid holiday per year.
- Mary’s still got some leave to use up.
- In my company, we get two weeks of vacation every summer.
- My holiday period is from 1st January to 31st December, so I’ve got less than a month to take the rest of my holiday.
- My colleague spent her holiday redecorating her flat.
- In some countries, people have three weeks’ holiday a year.
- In the current climate, money is tight for a lot of people, but we all need a holiday.
- The employees must give their employer notice of when they intend to go on leave.
- I am saving all my leave to have a long holiday later in the year.
- The employer has the right to refuse to grant a vacation day to maintain appropriate staffing levels.
Autorica Jasminka Šturlić, prof. engleskog i talijanskog.