Sickness and holiday: employees’ requests unnecessary says Court of Appeal

The law dealing with the holiday rights of workers on sick leave taxes many HR professionals: the law has developed in a piecemeal fashion and gaps are filled haphazardly by the courts. In the meantime, each decision has considerable financial and other implications.

Last week, the Court of Appeal added a new piece to the puzzle. In brief, the Court decided that workers who accrue holiday during their sickness absence are not required to ask their employers to carry over any unused leave to the next holiday year. Failure to make such a request will not forfeit the right to carry over the leave, or be paid in lieu of it on termination (NHS Leeds v Larner). As a result, the scope for employers to rely on the so-called “use it or lose it” principle is much reduced…

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