How much leave can someone carry forward if they are too sick to take it?

This is often a question I am asked, but if I have drafted your written statement of employment templates, you will see that I restrict this to 4 weeks should an individual be unable to take any of their leave in the year due to sickness. However, there has been a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) case asking just this question.

In the UK we apply the European Working Directive which gives 4 weeks of leave per year, but we have increased this by an additional 1.6 weeks as part of our Working Time Regulations bringing it to a total of 5.6 weeks (or 28 days for full time employees) including bank holidays. The question was raised by the Finnish Labour court to find out whether national additional leave had to be included in any carry forward. The ECJ confirmed that it was only the 4 weeks EU leave that counted unless a national state wanted to increase that.

This is a useful judgment as it has confirmed the arrangements we have been using - unless of course you have stated that more will be carried forward in your contracts. If you would like a review of your contracts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Posted on 29 Nov 2019
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