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Outstanding holiday entitlement on death

By Richard Adkinson

This article considers the ruling of the First Chambers of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Gülay Bollacke v K + K Klaas & Kock BV & Co KG (C-118/13) that an entitlement to accrued paid annual leave does not lapse when the worker dies.

Mrs Bollacke was the wife and sole beneficiary of her late husband’s estate. He fell ill in 2009, did not work again after 11 October 2010 and died on 19 November 2010. At the time of his death, he had accrued 140.5 days of untaken leave. The issue was whether she could claim a sum in lieu of the leave outstanding on his death.

Article 7 of the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) states that: (1) member states shall take the measures necessary to ensure that every worker is entitled to paid annual leave of at least four weeks in accordance with the conditions for entitlement to, and granting of, such leave laid down by national legislation and/or practice; and (2) The minimum period of paid annual leave may not be replaced by an allowance in lieu, except where the employment relationship is terminated…

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