Your wedding day and moving house are reportedly two of the most stressful occasions you will need to arrange.
So, in this post, our legal experts provide their advice for employees and employers regarding taking time off for the latter and will clarify what the law states, as well as what is considered good practice, to maintain a happy workforce.
Are You Legally Entitled to a Day Off to Move House?
The simple answer to this question is - no. UK employment law does not provide employees with a mandatory right to take time off to move house.
Booking Annual Leave and Using Your Holiday Entitlement
The only legal right employees have for time off work in these situations is in accordance with their normal holiday entitlement. Employees have a right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks' paid annual leave. This amounts to 28 days for a full-time employee, but many receive additional holiday rights under their contracts.
Entitlement to Leave When Moving House
Whilst it is in the best interest of employers to be accommodating to staff and provide a degree of flexibility by allowing employees to take time off during the moving process, it is legally very much at their own discretion.
An employee must give their employer notice if they wish to take annual leave. Subject to any provisions in the employee’s contract of employment, the notice must be at least twice the period of leave that they are requesting.
An employer can refuse a leave request or cancel leave, but they must give as much notice as the amount of leave requested, plus 1 day. For example, an employer would give 11 days’ notice if the worker asked for 10 days of leave.
An employer may refuse an employee’s holiday request by serving a counter-notice. This must be given at least as many calendar days before the date on which the leave is due to start as the number of days which the employer is refusing.
What Should I do?
In the first instance, you should consult your staff handbook and employment contract to determine your personal entitlement. Some employers allow additional days off (paid or unpaid) or entitlement for special occasions such as moving to a new house, a wedding or honeymoon.
What Other Consideration Do You Need to Allow For?
As many of you will only be too aware, moving house is not just a one day event.
In advance of the move you will have to plan and work with your estate agent, conveyancing team, removal company, inform utility providers and start packing up your belongings to name just a few of the tasks.
These will all take time, and the planning should start weeks in advance of your move.
We strongly recommend you prepare a checklist to help minimise the stress of the whole process. If you can, try to arrange any meetings regarding your house move to either take place outside your working hours or to occur on the same day so you don’t have to book multiple days off.
Try to co-ordinate with all parties to agree a moving date and if you need to, book this day off as soon as possible.
Historically, the preferred day for house moves is a Friday. For the majority of home movers, the day is spent undertaking last minute packing and loading all your possessions whilst waiting for the removal van and notification confirming completion.
Once you have picked up the keys for your new house the process starts again, in reverse, with the remainder of Friday and the weekend spent unpacking and settling in. It is completely understandable why people want to take time off in the days preceding and following the move.
To find out more about your employment rights, make an enquiry with your employer about leave entitlement for moving house.
Property Conveyancing from Howells Solicitors
If you’re looking for reliable conveyancing services for your house move, Howells can help. Get in touch to arrange an initial meeting with a member of our friendly team today.