Tribunal’s holiday ruling may have employment law implications

  • Posted

Posted 18/02/2010

A recent tribunal ruling on holiday entitlement may have employment law implications for companies relating to how they deal with employees who are on long-term sick leave.

Mr Shah, a worker at First West Yorkshire, took his employer to a tribunal after being told he could not claim back holidays scheduled to be taken during a period he eventually spent on sick leave.

He was absent from work from January to April 2009 because of a broken ankle, having previously booked four weeks off in February and March, reports Personnel Today.

Mr Shah believed he should be entitled to take the four weeks off during the next holiday year, despite UK Working Time Regulations stating that only eight days can be carried forward.

The tribunal ruled in his favour, with the judge explaining: “Shah is entitled to take the holidays which he was prevented by ill health from taking in March of 2009 at some subsequent time in the following leave year.”

It follows a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in 2009 which said that despite the UK’s regulations, there are circumstances in which workers who are off sick should be allowed to carry holidays forward to the following holiday year.

The ECJ ruling in the Stringer v HMRC case also established that workers accrue holiday entitlement while they are on sick leave and that there is nothing to prevent them using their holidays during a period off work for health reasons.


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