Employment Law Update: Landmark case clarifies treatment of sickness absence whilst on annual leave
Tue 17 Jul 2012
In June 2012, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided upon a case (Asociación Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribución (ANGED) v Federación de Asociaciones Sindicales and ors ), which originated in Spain, concerning the treatment of sickness absence during paid annual leave.
The Courts have already concluded that a worker who is unfit for work before the commencement of a period of annual leave is entitled to take that leave at another time which does not coincide with the period of sick leave.
The conclusion of the ECJ, therefore, following on from the above principle now clarifies the position: ‘A worker who becomes unfit for work during his paid annual leave is entitled at a later point in time to a period of leave of the same duration as that of his sick leave’.
A further interesting development in employment law has come from an English case (NHS Leeds v Larner ). The case debated whether those on long term sick leave can carry their unused holiday allowance forward to the next holiday year.
The Court of Appeal decided that a ‘use it or lose it’ rule for holidays does not apply in the case of workers on sick leave and any unused holiday will automatically be carried over into the next holiday year even if this is not requested by the employee.
In summary, if a worker is sick at any point during paid annual leave, he or she is entitled to retake those sick days as paid annual leave on another occasion.
For further information on this or any other employment matter, please contact Keith Maynard.
Direct: 020 7644 7278