In the recent case of Sobczszyn v Skola Podstawowa w Rzeplinie, the European Court of Justice (ECJ)  has reaffirmed that when an employee is prevented from taking all of their annual leave entitlement due to sickness, they must be permitted to take the holiday at a later date. This case serves as a useful reminder of the developments in this area of the law over recent years:

  • Stringer established that annual leave continues to accrue during sick leave and a distinction was drawn between the purpose of sick leave and that of annual leave. The former is for recovery from illness, while the latter serves as a period of rest and relaxation.
  • Pereda established that, where scheduled annual leave coincides with a period of sick leave, employees must be given the option to reschedule their annual leave.
  • Following ANGED, if a worker becomes unfit for work during their annual leave, they must be allowed to reschedule that holiday time.
  • Schulte recognised that there is a limit on the length of time an employee on long-term sick leave can continue to carry over untaken holiday, following which the purpose of annual leave can no longer be met (in that case a 15 month limit on carry over was held not to infringe the Working Time Directive).

These decisions relate to the statutory entitlement to holiday only, and the rules around carry over of additional contractual holiday will be governed by the contract and staff handbook.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or any employment issue, please contact Emma Sangeelee – Senior Associate, or any member of the Edwin Coe Employment Team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.

Please also see a copy of our terms of use here in respect of our website which apply also to all of our blogs.

Latest Blogs See All

Share by: