Reply To: Morena, We have 9 staff and return to work next Tuesday (meetings) Wed on site. We are a building company and only have enough sites for some of our staff to return in what we recognise as a safe environment for all concerned. Two will need to remain at home, we do not have any other worksites. One staff member has an exuberant amount of annual leave (over 12 weeks), Can we request he be on annual leave for two weeks, or do I need to as per his IEA give him two weeks notice of this, we have requested a number of times prior to Covid period, he take a cash draw down and/or annual leave (these dates that have already expired and he has chosen not too) any advice is helpful as we are not the sort of people to dictate peoples holiday periods and try to remain fair at all times, but needs must at this time.

Morena – As you’ve anticipated, you are required to agree annual leave dates with your employee, and unless the earlier discussions about his annual leave balance were very recent, I would advise you to talk with him again, then follow up in writing (by email is fine) to communicate the need for him to supply you with an annual leave plan to use up a certain number of days by a certain date. For example, you could say that you want him to give you a plan where he takes 10 days annual leave before 31 May. If he will not do that, you can follow up by giving him 14 days notice that you ‘require’ him to take a block of leave on specific dates. You cannot legally impose an annual leave period prior to conducting this process. Unfortunately your only other alternative for next week is to have your employee stay at home, on pay, if you cannot provide a safe physical environment for the work to be done. All the best, Fiona