Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2014 position: 28

Employment law 2013 review: holiday pay

Holiday entitlement is important to individuals. Where and when one spends much deserved rest and recovery often takes months of thoughtful planning. A worker who believes they have not been given the correct holiday leave or pay will feel aggrieved.

Once again, the long-running saga of how to deal with holiday leave entitlement for those on sick leave featured this year. Basically, European case law means that workers on long-term sick leave can take holiday leave even if they are still on sick leave. However, if such a worker is ‘prevented’ from taking their leave due to their sickness, they must be allowed to carry it over to the next holiday year.

Reconciling the European jurisprudence with the provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), which prohibit carry-over and contain notice requirements, is no mean feat. In particular, it has been unclear as to whether the European case law concerning sickness absence and holiday leave requires carry-over of the full 5.6 weeks’ statutory leave or only the first four weeks of statutory leave derived from the Working Time Directive (WTD)…

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