Sick of Holidays?
In a recent case the Employment Appeal Tribunal looked at the case of an employee who had been off sick for nearly four years and who had not taken, or requested, any holiday. He wanted to be paid for all of this untaken leave when his employment ended.
Normally when individuals cease employment, they are entitled to be paid in lieu for untaken annual leave. But how long can you carry this forward? Currently in the UK, case law means if workers do not wish to take their holiday entitlement during sickness absence, it can be taken at some other time even if this means carrying it over to the next leave year. However the recent case argued at the Employment Appeal Tribunal has established that workers on sick leave do not have to demonstrate they are unable to take annual leave because of their medical condition to retain that leave, and if they do not wish to take holiday during sick leave, they are entitled to take it at a later date.
Fortunately for employers this right is time-bound and it has recently been clarified that carried over leave untaken because of sickness now has to be taken within 18 months of the end of the leave year in which it was accrued. Employers should however to remember to include clauses in their written statements of particulars to explain that only the 4 weeks of “Euro” leave as opposed to the UK’s more generous 5.6 weeks (or anything contractually above that) are allowable as leave in long-term sickness situations. If you need assistance with that or more advice on this subject please get in touch.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016