Can I cancel holiday if I am on gardening leave?

I have just handed my notice in and have been placed on gardening leave.

I had several days of holiday booked which fall within the gardening leave. If I take that I will owe leave back as I would not have accrued that much by time of leaving, meaning my final wage will be significantly reduce.

Can I ask them to cancel this holiday and offer to work this period or take it as gardening leave?

Annual Leave


I would recommend that you revisit your contract to clarify what the contractual obligations are in these circumstances.

Your employer does not have to automatically agree to this request unless employees’ entitlement to cancel holiday is clearly set out in the contract.

If it is not set out in your contract, however, you could seek to negotiate with your employer to agree that this is garden leave and cancel the pre-booked annual leave.

Another option is to negotiate a reduction of your holiday entitlement. If you have taken additional holiday by the time your notice period ends, your employer can only deduct holiday pay from final pay if this is agreed in writing beforehand or there is a payback clause in your contract.

*Nikki Sharpe is an employment expert at Best Solicitors. Nikki advises both businesses and individuals on all aspects of employment law. She specialises in discrimination and bullying in the workplace and supports businesses with HR and employment law training. More information on Nikki Sharpe can be found at

Comments [1]

  • G marshall says:

    Hello, I work 46 hours over 4 nights, I have several illnesses a few progressive like heart failure, lupus fibro myalgia n the list goes on my manager said I could have help with bins as an adjustment but if I ask for help she will go down capability route, all they have got me is is that idea a chair and a crappy old hoover we stopped using years ago as they put u at a disadvantage weather u I’ll or not, I’ve also asked to reduce my hours to 23 a week as I’ve totally had enough of the managers I am overlooked for every job I’m very much ignored if I phone on call I get complained about by the manager the next day.. I get questioned constantly over my health and appointments, so I’ve even started arranging my appointments so I don’t have to tell her anything, I’ve now gone off sick with depression and she even had the nerve to ask what I’d discussed with the gp, I never answered her text just sent my sick note concerned how I’ll live on benefits for month but it’s like she is trying to force me out of the place

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