December Leave

December Leave

Thinking ahead to December – have you annual leave left?

Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are of course public holidays in the UK. A day off work on these days of the year is therefore commonplace for workers in office-based roles. Where any of these days fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday and/or Tuesday becomes a public holiday instead.

However, whilst the Christmas/ New Year period is often described as ‘the festive season’, the weekdays between Christmas and New Year are not official public holidays. For example, in 2017, Wednesday December 27 to Friday December 29 are all ‘working days’. Tuesday January 2 2018 is also a normal workday.

It may be the case that your company decides to shut down between Christmas and New Year – if you aren’t sure whether this is the case, check with your boss.

If your company isn’t downing tools throughout this period, and you want these days off work, you will need to book them as annual leave. Assuming you still have leave left come the very end of the year, you may therefore need to act quickly, as many of your colleagues may also not want to be working between December 27 and December 29.

Advantages of working the days between Christmas and New Year may include:

  • The roads during the early morning period will be much quieter – there won’t be the usual ‘rush hour’ on these days
  • Some people find they get bored being at home on these days
  • Once you are at work, you may find you are much more productive, as there are fewer interruptions

Reasons why you might not want to work at the end of December include:

  • If you are travelling for Christmas, say because your family lives in a different part of the country, it may be very difficult for you to be back at your desk first thing on December 27. For example, there are almost no rail services in the UK on Boxing Day
  • It can be demoralising having to get up early and go into work when so many other people are not working
  • Public transport may operate a reduced service on the days between Christmas and New Year
  • Many people, having seen their family over Christmas, want to use the following days to catch up with friends

As also mentioned above, January 2 2018 is also a normal working day (except in Scotland). So, if you think you might need more time to recover from the New Year festivities, you may also need to think about using a day of your 2018 leave allowance.

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