Written by Geoff Newman on 6/17/2010
Recent Tribunal rulings have given the right to employees to take paid holidays next year if they were unable to take holiday leave the previous year because of sick leave.
THE CASE OF SHAH v FIRST WEST YORKSHIRE
During January 2009 Mr. Shah broke his ankle and called in for sick leave for three months from January to April 2009. Before that incident, he had booked his annual leave for the month of April 2009. He asked his employer if he could take the previously scheduled annual leave but the company refused him.
But the ruling of the tribunal court provided Mr. Shah with annual paid leave for his previously planned holiday, since the court claimed that he was unable to take the annual leave because of his sickness. The tribunal judge ruled that Mr. Shah was forced to abort from his annual leave as he had to take sick leave because of his health problems.
CASE OF PEREDA v MADRID MOVILIDAD SA
The European Court of Justice ruled in favour of the workers. It was ruled by the judge that employees who are unable to take their annual holiday leave because of their sickness leave should be able to re-schedule their annual leave even during the next leave year.
CASE OF STRINGER v HMRC
The case between Stringer and HMRC resulted in allowing the employees to secure their paid leave during sickness and if their annual leave is missed during their sickness absence time period, then it should be carried forward.
These rulings are said to be conflicting with the UK Working Time Regulations, which indicates that not more than eight days of annual leave could be forwarded to next year.
But these rulings suggest that employers should be flexible enough to allow the individuals to carry forward their annual paid holidays to the next year if they were unable to take those holidays due to their sickness leave from work. These rulings suggest that sick leave and annual paid leave should be separated from each other. It doesn’t matter if one was on his sick leave, he deserves the right to carry forward his annual holidays to the next year.
But currently not all employers have to follow these rulings, and most do not allow their workers to carry forward their annual paid leave to next year. If an employee goes on a sick leave during the year then the employer would most likely treat that sick leave as paid annual leave and in that case the employee is not allowed to take his annual leave the following year.
Many employers are not in favour of the concept of employees carrying the annual paid leave over to the next year.
But regardless of the UK legislation, the court rulings have ruled in favour of the employees and have allowed them to take their annual paid leave over to the next year. These court rulings have followed the EU law, ignoring what is said in UK legislation.