Businesses need to plan Christmas holidaysUK companies are experiencing confusion over the forthcoming Christmas period and are being warned they could be in trouble if they have not organised holiday entitlement correctly – a job which may be the responsibility of the HR department.

Croner has reported that its employment advisory service has received a “flurry” of calls during the weeks leading up to the festive period from employers admitting they are unsure about holiday entitlement.

A popular query was whether managers can “force” the workforce to take their vacation entitlement at Christmas, or how to decide who gets time off of offices are open.

Gillian Dowling, employment technical consultant at Croner, said: “Problems can arise if employers decide to close the office at the last minute, as some employees may not have the necessary holiday entitlement remaining and businesses can be left out of pocket.”

The group notes the statutory minimum holiday entitlement set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998 is listed in terms of 5.6 weeks’ annual leave.

The Independent recently warned that employees could be more at risk a Christmas and that those concerned should approach their HR team.