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Annual leave request declined letter

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Our Annual Leave Request Declined Letter Template eases the process, providing clear explanations for declined requests efficiently.

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10 mins
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What is an Annual leave request declined letter?

An annual leave request declined letter informs the employee of the decision with a clear explanation. It includes declined request details and reasons, like staffing levels or operational requirements. The letter offers alternative arrangements, ensuring fair treatment and compliance with statutory entitlements.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as possible after a decision is made
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

How can I ensure that this letteris executed effectively?

Step Description Responsibility Timing (Days from Decision)
1 Review Annual Leave Request: Review the employee's annual leave request, considering operational requirements and staffing levels. HR / Management Team N/A
2 Assess Feasibility: Evaluate the feasibility of granting the request, considering business needs and available resources. HR / Management Team Day 1
3 Prepare Declined Letter: Create a comprehensive Annual Leave Request Declined Letter, clearly explaining the decision and providing the reason for decline. HR / Management Team Day 3
4 Legal Review (Optional): If required, seek legal advice to ensure the letter complies with employment laws and regulations. HR / Legal Team Day 5 (If applicable)
5 Issue the Letter: After finalizing the letter and obtaining necessary approvals, issue the Annual Leave Request Declined Letter to the employee, formally notifying them of the decision. HR / Management Team Day 7 (Or as deemed appropriate)

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

There are several employment laws that should be considered to ensure that the decision is lawful and compliant. Some of the key employment laws to consider include:

  1. The Working Time Regulations 1998: This law sets out the rules on paid annual leave entitlement for employees. Employers should ensure that they are complying with the regulations and that employees are not being denied their statutory rights to annual leave.

  2. The Employment Rights Act 1996: This law sets out the requirements for written terms and conditions of employment, including holiday entitlement. Employers should ensure that they are following any relevant policies and procedures relating to annual leave requests and that they provide a clear and transparent explanation for why the request has been declined.

  3. The Equality Act 2010: This law prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Employers should ensure that the decision to decline the annual leave request does not discriminate against any employee based on any of these characteristics.

  4. The company's own policies and procedures: Employers should also consider any relevant company policies or procedures that apply to annual leave requests and ensure that they are following them appropriately.

  5. The possibility of flexible working: Employers should consider whether they can offer the employee an alternative to the declined annual leave request, such as flexible working arrangements or a different period of annual leave.

It is important to handle declined annual leave requests in a fair and transparent manner, and to communicate the reasons for the decision clearly to the employee. Employers should also ensure that they are not penalising employees for requesting annual leave or making it difficult for them to take their entitlement.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Annual leave request declined [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Request for annual leave declined

I refer to your request to take annual leave from [date] to [date].

Unfortunately, on this occasion, we must decline your request because (specify reason from list below):

  • [annual leave has already been approved for other members of staff at this time and we cannot permit anyone else to be off because of the need to maintain adequate staffing levels]. OR
  • [this will be a particularly busy time for the Company so annual leave cannot be taken on those dates]. OR
  • [you have insufficient annual leave remaining in the Company's current holiday year]. OR
  • [you are in your first year of employment and you have not yet accrued sufficient annual leave to cover those dates]. OR
  • [specify other reason].

Please let me know if you have any alternative dates on which you would like to take annual leave and I will then advise whether I can grant annual leave on those dates.

On behalf of the Company, I must also advise you of the legal position should you decide to take annual leave on any date on which it has not been authorised.

We are not, of course, suggesting that this is what you intend to do, but you do need to be aware in advance of the consequences of taking unauthorised annual leave.

Not only will unauthorised leave be unpaid, but absence from work without permission and without just cause is regarded as a serious disciplinary matter. This could result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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Annual leave request declined letter
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