It's a trap!

Employment Law Newsflash - July 2015


In this issue ...

Accruing holiday during sick leave

An employee who has been on sick leave can carry forward accrued unused holiday to a different holiday year. But only for 18 months.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 statutory holiday cannot be carried forward from one holiday year to the next. However some limited exceptions, one of which applies to employees on long-term sickness absence, have developed through case law relating to the Working Time (WT) Directive and the four weeks' holiday that it prescribes. But for how long can the unused holiday be carried forward? Of course it is in the employee's interest to carry it forward for as long as possible so that, when their employment eventually terminates, they get paid for the greatest amount of unused leave. Employers, for obvious reasons, wish to limit their liability for holiday pay on termination.

In Plumb v Duncan Print Group Limited the Employment Appeal Tribunal concluded that holiday leave cannot be carried forward indefinitely, but only for 18 months from the end of the leave year. The EAT held that the wording of the WT Directive and the case law of the CJEU make it clear that national law is not required to allow carry forward without limit. Regulation 13(9) should be read as permitting a worker to take annual leave within 18 months of the end of the leave year in which it accrued. It also held that for an employee who has been off sick to carry holiday forward from one year to another, there is no requirement for him to show he was unable to take the leave in the correct year. It was enough that he chose not to do so.


If you would like to discuss this or any other issue facing your organisation please speak to your usual contact at Collinson Grant or Jo Hale on 0161 703 5600

Although care has been taken in the preparation of this Newsletter, Collinson Grant cannot accept responsibility for errors, omissions or advice given. Readers should note that only Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments have the force of law and only the courts can authoritatively interpret the law.