11th December 2021

Employment Law Advent Calendar: Day 11

It’s the 11th of December and you’re just in the (Saint) Nick of time to find out who or what is behind door number 11 of my Employment Law Advent Calen-deer to help employers avoid a ‘Blue Christmas’.

It’s a closed sign.

Any employer shutting down for a short period over the festive period hopefully shared the good news with their employees earlier this year and explained the number of holidays they needed to save for the Christmas closure.

However, if this is a spontaneous decision an employer has only recently taken, or might yet take in the countdown to Christmas, there are two things that an employer can do:

  1. If its employees have enough holidays left to cover the Christmas closure, an employer can simply give notice of the closure that is double the length of the number of days holiday the employees will be required to take e.g. a four day closure requires eight days’ notice. However, if any employee has run out of holidays for the year they can’t be forced to take unpaid leave or bring forward holiday entitlement from the next holiday year.
  2. Gift its employees the days off. Effectively, the employer is increasing the holiday entitlement but it’s important to make it clear that it doesn’t mean there will be an increase the following year (or any other year) and the holidays can’t be taken at any other time. For those employees where the Christmas Closure coincides with pre-booked holidays, the gifted holidays can be carried forward but it can helpful to explain that they must be taken within, say, the first three months of the following holiday year.

Make sure you elf a merry little Christmas and contact a member of the Blackadders Employment Team working in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and across Scotland for help and advice.

Donna Reynolds, Partner
Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Employment Law & Discrimination Law
Employment Law
Blackadders LLP



The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.

Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.


Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.

Privacy Statement

Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.

© Blackadders LLP 2022

Members of the Law Society of Scotland.

Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.

Back to Business Legal News from Blackadders Solicitors