Carrying over Paid Annual Leave when Sick

It has been confirmed that if sickness prevents workers from taking annual leave, they must be able to use it at a later date. A payment in lieu can only be made on the termination of employment.

A teacher, took convalescence leave provided by a Teachers' Charter and was unable to use her annual leave. The school said that leave had been used during convalescence. Article 7(1) provides four weeks' annual leave for every worker which is a fundamental tenet of EU social law. Only on termination can payment be made in lieu. Annual leave accrues during sick leave. If scheduled leave coincides with sickness, a worker can designate a different time to take leave. The purpose of paid leave is rest and relaxation. Sick leave is for recovery from illness, it is not rest; annual leave can be rescheduled on recovery. Whether leave has been scheduled or booked makes no difference: if sickness prevents annual leave, workers must be able to use annual leave at a later date.

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