What is a vacation request

Vacation application - what should be considered when applying, approving or rejecting an application?

Nothing stands in the way of your dream vacation? You planned and organized everything. It starts in 3 weeks. You haven't forgotten anything when planning your vacation? Only the vacation request. It went down in the hustle and bustle of events. You already told the boss of your intention. That'll be enough, won't it? Find out here when an application for leave must be submitted, which form is necessary and what options are available if it is rejected.

Correctly apply for leave

Vacation application (© Ewe Degiampietro / fotolia.com) For vacation - or more correctly, recreational leave - there is a legal basis in labor law: that Federal Leave Act (BUrlG). It regulates that claim every employee onpaid annual leave.

The term vacation is no coincidence. It's a measure that serve the protection of health and prevention should. As such, it excludes activities that are inconsistent with recreation, such as other gainful employment while on vacation. The employee acquires the right to vacation leave after 6 months of employment in the company. Before this period has expired, partial leave will only be granted in exceptional cases.

The timing of when a vacation is to be taken or granted must be defined in consultation with the line manager. When planning his vacation, he must - as far as possible - the Take vacation wishes and employees' interests into account (Section 7 (1) BUrlG). The application is initially binding and may not be arbitrarily rejected by the boss. Nevertheless, an approved vacation application must be available before the employee can start the vacation days.

Deadline: When do I have to apply for leave

Most companies have procedural descriptions (manuals, service instructions). The employer is interested in being informed in good time so that he can plan staff and production effectively.

For the employee it brings a certain security if he has the approved vacation application in hand early and demonstrably.

The legislature sees no explicit deadline to submit a vacation request.


The form of the application and the procedure for applying for leave varies from company to company. The law writes no special rules for the vacation request. It allows both an informal application and an oral agreement. With the latter to provide evidence in the event of a dispute, will be difficult. In larger companies, vacation management is stored with electronically supported workflows. Even verifiable communication by email can be sufficient to preserve evidence of the (timely) application and vacation permit.

Pattern / template

At least the following information should be found on a form of an application for leave to be granted:

  • First and Last Name of the applicant (employee)
    • Department, possibly personnel number
    • Address (private address)
  • receiver: Employer, supervisor, administrative office (HR office)
  • Number of vacation days (on working days, according to working hours in the company)
  • First day of vacation / Day of leave
  • completion (first day of work)
  • Please for confirmation
  • Signature / signature

For your vacation request, you can use our Free sample as a Word template (doc.) use:

vacation request


First name:



Personal No.






Dear Sirs and Madames,

I hereby apply for leave from ________________ to ________________ (days: _____)

It is about

x vacation

x special leave due to __________________________________________________


I ask for approval of the vacation and a written confirmation.

Place, date Signature of the applicant


Note from the employer

The vacation requested

x is approved

x is approved by: __________ to __________

x is not approved

Reason: ___________________________________________________________________________


A change to the vacation approved above requires the approval of the employer.

Place, date Signature of the employer

You can download the vacation application as a Word document here!

You can download the vacation application as a pdf document here!


Even in that case, the law sees it no binding approval period in front. It leaves the employer to decide how the deadlines are regulated in the company.

Approval deadline: by when does the employer have to react?

The employer is subject to a legally regulated Duty of care and protection (§§ 617-619 BGB). From this point of view, he will therefore ensure that his employee can realize the vacation entitlement to which he is entitled. Usually you can use a Decision within 10 days calculate.

No response to the vacation request

As long as there is no feedback on the vacation request, the applies Vacation as not approved. If an employee were to go on vacation anyway, that would be included Unexcused absence from work / refusal to perform to equate. Serious labor and service law consequences can be the consequence.

However, the employee has the option of one preliminary injunction in judicial process enforce. Before this step is taken, a personal conversation, timely urgency, is the simpler, more conflict-free way.

Workers have the right to Withdrawal of your vacation requestif the commitment is delayed and the circumstances have changed as a result. For example, the holiday accommodation could already be taken.

If the application is approved on time, then the Vacation is binding for the employee. A change is only possible if the supervisor agrees.

When is the vacation application considered approved?

Of course, a vacation permit can also be used take place orally. This is also the common practice in many smaller companies.

Fachanwalt.de tip: For reasons of traceability, proof of the vacation approval or rejection in written / electronic form is the safer option. If there is no evidence, the superior could refer to it and reconstruct an unexcused absence.


Rejection of the application (© fizkes / fotolia.com) The employee has the right to paid vacation. In this respect, the employer can do this Do not refuse exemption. According to §7 BUrlG, the vacation wishes and concerns of the workforce must be taken into account.

Still it works The employer's right of direction and instruction to the extent that he can determine the timing to a certain extent. The framework that the Federal Holiday Act gives him:

  • the Relaxing vacation must be in current calendar year granted and taken (annual leave)
  • the vacation days should are granted contiguouslyif there are no urgent, personal and operational reasons against it
  • a Transfer of vacation entitlement to the next year is only possible for urgent or personal reasons
  • In the case of the transfer, it must be ensured that the transferred vacation part is in the consumed first three months of the year becomes

When can the boss refuse a vacation?

The employer has to take into account the wishes of the employee with regard to the period of vacation. Nevertheless, there are reasons that justify a rejection of the application:

  • Urgent operational matters:
    • For projects that are ongoing and require the employee to be present in the current phase. An interruption could mean high losses for the company.
    • In the period of a general holiday ban, for example when the company is in a critical phase, orders have to be finalized, mergers, restructuring. In this context, reference is made to the works council's right of co-determination (Section 87 BetrVG).
    • In the event of a partial loss of entire workforce (flu wave, weather and environmental disasters, etc.).
  • Social considerations:
    • When the vacation wishes overlap; this is usually the case during the holidays / school holidays, the public holidays, on extended weekends. The vacation requests are increasing. From a social point of view, the employer has to weigh up to whom he gives priority.

Social aspects are expressed by the fact that the vacation can only be taken for a precisely defined period of time. An exemplary listing for priority for social reasons:

  • Parents with school-age children
  • Workers without children, whose Partner teacher is
  • chronic diseases at certain times of the year
  • Duration of Length of service
  • Age of the employee

If the employee belongs to the more disadvantaged group of people - e.g. single, without (school-age) children - then the employer will still have to ensure that compensation takes place.

What can you do about a rejection?

Under no circumstances can the employee "take leave of absence yourself ". That is not allowed, so one Warning and possibly termination could be the consequences.

The first step to take against a rejection is a request and a conversation with the boss. Perhaps there are only mutual misunderstandings that need to be eliminated communicatively.

If that is not successful, he can Way through the labor court be trodden. This only really makes sense if the reasons for rejection don't really apply. In urgent cases a interim disposal which is issued after a legal review by the labor court. This ruling replaces the vacation permit.

Do I have to keep vacation requests?

On the part of the employer no special retention requirement for applications, except for those of the current calendar year (tax and commercial law regulations).

There is, however, the possibility of one suffered Damage within the limitation period of 3 years (§ 195 BGB) to assert. In this respect, claims for a rejected vacation could be asserted (trip cancellation, etc.).

For this reason alone It is advisable to put the entire application and approval process in writing. The retention period should be at least 3 years (expiry of the limitation period). As a rule, personnel files are kept for this period anyway in order to be prepared for any claims for damages.

The same period naturally applies to employees who should keep and archive copies of their applications and the subsequent responses with the associated supporting documents.

Fachanwalt.de tip: From a legal point of view, there is no approval “with reservations”. The employer cannot soften his promise by the fact that things “look pretty good” at the moment. This is not a legally secure permit. It must be clear that the supervisor agrees with the location and length of the requested leave. Priority is to be given to the written form. If you have any further questions in this context, you can consult a lawyer specializing in labor law.