Does the death of an employee extinguish their right to holiday pay?

It is well established that on termination of employment a worker is entitled to pay in lieu of any accrued but unused holiday entitlement that may exist at the date they leave. This payment will usually be in respect of their final leave year only (subject to special rules for employees on long-term sickness absence who have been unable to take their holiday over a lengthy period of time).

What happens, though, when an employee dies during their employment with an outstanding holiday balance? Will they (or their estate) be entitled to a payment in respect of the accrued but untaken holiday?

This was the issue that fell to be determined by the European Court of Justice recently…

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