We all work hard and sometimes we need a little time off. You most probably have some time off allocated in your employment contract, but what happens when you request days off and they’re denied by your boss?

Keep in mind that there might be valid reasons for receiving a solid “no”, but remember that you also have employee’s rights. Here’s how to handle it.

Consider the Reason

The reason for your requested leave and the reasons for your employer turning you down might be interconnected – which would make sense.

If you’re requesting holiday time during a busy time of the year and your co-workers have beaten you to it, this would make sense. However, if you’re requesting medical or family leave for something important and your boss isn’t allowing it, you’ll want to take a look at the FMLA, PA, to be sure of your rights before progressing.

All in all, you will have to be reasonable and understanding if the timing of your vacation is a little last-minute and won’t work with your work requirements.

Have the Discussion

If you’re told “no”, there’s nothing wrong with requesting to have a discussion about the situation.

Sit down calmly with your employer and politely discuss their reason for turning down your request. You might ask them why they won’t consider it, explain to them why you feel you really need and deserve this time off, and even provide proof that you’d be able to have your work up to date before leaving, and catch up soon after your return.

Escalate the Issue

If your time-off is related to medical or emergency reasons, you might consider escalating the problem to your HR department. Remain professional, and ask them to highlight the relevant policies and how they recommend you proceed.

If the issue is not solved internally, you could consider hiring a labour lawyer to help fight for your case.

Negotiate or Make Peace

Unfortunately, there are simply some circumstances where taking holiday time isn’t going to be possible. You could negotiate with your employer, and try to come to a compromise that satisfies everybody.

Keep in mind that employees won’t typically be denied leave if it falls within their allotted time off in their employment contract unless there’s a good reason for it. Thus, if you aren’t able to take a vacation right away, you might need to make peace and wait until the timing is better.

Plan Ahead

In the future, plan your vacations, holidays and time off as far in advance as you can. Consider planning a year-end family vacation for Christmas time, but book the necessary travel and accommodation and request your leave at the beginning of the year. This way, you’ll be ahead of your colleagues and won’t get stuck working when everyone else has already booked their time off, and you’ll also be able to plan your work properly so that your holiday time will be stress and guilt-free.

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