In Lyons v MITIE Security, the EAT has confi rmed that leave not taken at the end of a leave year can be lost by workers if the employee has not given notice for requesting annual leave.

L, who worked as a security guard for MITIE Security, requested payment on 6 March 2008 for six unused days of holiday before the holiday year ended on the 31 March. On 1 April, he discovered that he had not been paid for the holiday, and raised a grievance. MS Ltd argued that, as his request for the holiday was made on the 6 March, he had not given the four week’s notice required by his contract for annual leave. As the contract prohibited carry over, and the company was unable to pay annual leave while he was still working, he would lose the holiday pay. L resigned and lodged claims, including one for unpaid holiday pay, which were subsequently rejected by the tribunal. L appealed.

The court stated that a notice provision correctly operated by the parties could result in the loss of unused annual leave at the end of the leave year. Noting the absence of case law, the EAT was satisfi ed that the right to statutory leave has been made subject to notice provisions, and therefore the leave at the end of the year was lost.

Lyons v MITIE Security