Introduction to this document

Holiday shutdown clause

If you completely close down your business for a couple of weeks during, for example, the Christmas or summer period, you will probably want to ensure that the period of shutdown is taken by your employees as part of their annual leave entitlement. Our holiday shutdown clause provides for this eventuality.

Open all hours

You only need to use the first part of our Holiday Shutdown Clause if you close down your business for a period of time during the year (usually one or two weeks either at Christmas or over the summer) and, during this time, you require your employees to take the time off as part of their annual leave entitlement. The second part of our clause is useful though if you find yourself having to temporarily shut down the business (or a particular department) at short notice at any time, e.g. due to a flood, power cut, poor trading conditions or a pandemic virus.

Annual leave

Where you do operate an annual shutdown, our clause provides that the time off must be taken as part of the employee’s annual leave entitlement. It also provides that you will give notice of the exact dates of the shutdown as early as possible after the start of the holiday year and in any event at least one month in advance of the shutdown. In the absence of any agreement for notice, the Working Time Regulations 1998 provide that you must give your employees at least double the length of notice as the holiday you require them to take. For example, if you require them to take two weeks’ annual leave, you must give them a minimum of four weeks’ notice. In practice, as the clause provides, it is in your interests to give as much notice as possible of a shutdown. That way you can ensure your employees retain sufficient annual leave entitlement to cover the whole period of the shutdown, particularly if the shutdown takes place late in the holiday year.

As for when you temporarily need to shut down unexpectedly at short notice, the second part of our clause effectively varies the statutory notice provisions outlined above in those circumstances, by providing that you can require staff to take their annual leave on these particular shutdown days without having to give them any minimum period of notice.