The European Court of Justice has recently cleared up an ambiguity over what happens to an employee’s annual leave if they cannot take it because they are off sick at the same time.
It means that a worker who is unable to take their scheduled holiday leave because they are ill can carry it forward.
They can take the leave at a different time, or can carry it into the next holiday year if necessary.
The ECJ did not consider a situation where the holiday leave had not been scheduled before the employee went on sick leave.
However, it is our view that it is likely that, if a worker is prevented by illness from taking annual leave, whether scheduled or not, then that holiday will be carried over.
Failure to allow this would amount to a breach of the Working Time Directive.
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