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New Sick Leave Ruling

On the 21st June the European Court of Justice has ruled that employees who are ill whilst on annual leave will be allowed to reclaim this time off.

This was prompted after a case was brought to court by Spanish Unions on behalf of department store employees who wanted to protect their right to reclaim leave if it was spoilt by ill health.

This decision follows a controversial change to the WTD (Working Time Directive) where holidays continue to accrue during sick leave. If a worker has been unable to take holidays due to ill health they may be allowed to carry leave forward even into the next year.

This left unanswered questions about what would happen if illness concurred with scheduled leave. The court has ruled that the employee would have the right for their statutory leave to be reallocated possibly even into the next holiday year.

The court has agreed that the purpose of paid annual leave is to allow the employee a period of rest and relaxation, whilst sick leave enables them to recover from an illness. Therefore, according to the court, the point at which the inability to work arose is actually irrelevant and the employee is entitled to take his paid holiday leave at a later point in time.

Managing these situations and ensuring that robust process and procedures are in place is vital. This new ruling may affect your business and will need to be considered when planning your attendance management procedures.

Please contact us at Simple HR for more information.

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