EAT, annual leave and the WTR

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Sickness absence and holiday pay: EAT confirms that the additional 1.6 weeks’ annual leave provided for in the Working Time Regulations 1998 is only carried over into new holiday year where there is a relevant agreement between the parties - .PDF file.

When individuals are on long-term sick leave and unable to take annual leave, only the minimum four weeks’ annual leave provided for by the EU Working Time Directive (WTD) will carry over automatically into the next holiday year. On the facts of this case, an employee had been off sick for a year and a half during a period of absence that spanned two leave years. There was no relevant agreement between the parties. Therefore, the employee was not entitled to carry over additional leave to a subsequent holiday year when he had been unable to take it due to sickness. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) also confirmed that the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) should be read to comply with the WTD, irrespective of whether the employer is a public body or a private sector employer (Sood Enterprises Ltd v Healy).

Article 7(1) of the WTD provides that workers are entitled to a minimum of four weeks’ paid annual leave. The WTD is implemented in the UK by the WTR, which provides that workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ annual leave, thus improving on the minimum requirement set out in the WTD…

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