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How many days annual leave did he have and how long has he worked for the company?
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Many thanks for your patience. This is a tricky situation but unless the employer had taken steps to cancel the holiday by giving the employee notice, it would have remained in place and an assumption that the employee would have taken it even if on suspension. What the employer could not have done is expected them to be available to assist with any investigation during the holiday period. So the suspension would have been applied from the start, the employee would have been expected to be available to assist the employer during that time as needed, then they would have had the holiday period and not been required to answer to the employer, then when the holiday finished the suspension would have resumed.
On the other hand, if the employee was not notified that the suspension was lifted they could try and argue that they would not have known that they can take their holidays and assumed that they are still on suspension.
The problem with all of that is that there is nothing in law which specifically deals with these situations and you are left with both the employer and employee having reasonable arguments to aid their case. Who is right is unfortunately not easy to determine and only a court can decide that. So unless your friend challenges this in court, they would be limited to either raising a grievance to formally complain to the employer, or accepting their decision.
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