Is it legal to be told when to take your holidays?

Can an employer tell an employee when they can take their holidays?

Yes, as long as they are able to take all their annual holidays in the current holiday year.  However it is thankfully unusual for employers to be too strict about this.  It is usually limited to not being able to take holidays busy times, i.e. summer or Christmas, making sure that critical tasks are covered and reserving the right to refuse holidays at particular times if it is absolutely necessary.

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