A couple of quick HR Q & A's
Q Does an employee have a right to take time off if their childminding arrangements break down?
A The legal right is to reasonable “time off for dependants”, which can give an employee time off to deal with emergencies. This would be unpaid and would normally expect to last one or two days (or what is considered to be reasonable) so that other arrangements can be put in place. You may suggest that the employee uses annual or special leave. As an employer, you may decide to give special leave with pay.
Q Can I refuse an annual leave request?
A Yes, employees have the right to statutory annual leave but as the employer you can say when leave can or cannot be taken. Some organisations have shutdowns when employees have to take leave, others may stop people taking leave during busy periods at certain times of the year.