As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, organisations may see an increasing number of staff wanting to cancel pre-booked periods of annual leave. Whilst it is up to the employer whether they choose to approve or deny such requests, they should consider whether permitting this may be a key method of maintaining staff morale.
If a business has to go into a temporary closure, or an employee is asked to self-isolate but feels well enough to work, permitting a period of annual leave could be an alternative to laying-off staff, or a solution if an employee cannot work from home. However, it should be remembered that organisations must provide at least twice the amount of time of the leave they want staff to take if they wish to enforce it. In this situation, they should instead seek to negotiate a period of leave.