Sick of Holidays?
Workers who fall sick during their annual leave are entitled to take corresponding paid leave at a later date, the EU's top court has ruled.
The European Court of Justice (EJC) ruling, which was prompted by a Spanish trade union case against a group of department stores, is legally binding throughout the EU.
The court in Luxembourg said the EU Working Time Directive grants workers a right to at least four weeks' paid annual leave, "even where such leave coincides with periods of sick leave".
The ECJ says "the point at which the temporary incapacity arose is irrelevant".
This means that a worker is entitled to take paid annual leave, which coincides with a period of sick leave, at a later point in time, irrespective of the point at which the incapacity for work arose.
According to an earlier ECJ ruling, workers who fall sick before a period of annual leave can also reschedule that leave period so that it does not clash with their sick leave.
However as a result of earlier ECJ judgments, this change has already happened in the UK, so it should come as no surprise. In cases where workers fall sick towards the end of the year, and are unable to take all of their annual leave, they can under EU law carry over their unused leave into the next accounting period.
The ECJ has also ruled that the long-term sick have the right to accumulate at least a year of unused annual leave. But the ECJ says the amount is not open-ended and EU member states can set an upper limit.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016