Sickness during holiday: reminder of employees’ rights
Sickness during holiday: reminder of employees’ rights.
With the main summer holiday period fast approaching, many employees will be booking and taking annual leave. But what happens if your employee is sick during their holiday, or they are unable to take their holiday because of illness? Can they ask to take their annual leave at another time?
Yes, they can. Employees are entitled to statutory holiday under the Working Time Regulations. The purpose of sick leave is to allow the employee to recover from illness. The purpose of holiday is relaxation and leisure. If an employee is sick when they are on holiday, or if they cannot take their holiday because of illness, you must allow them to take that statutory holiday at another time, even if that means carrying the holiday forward into the next holiday year. You can, however, say that the holiday entitlement will be lost if it is not taken within 18 months after the end of the holiday year.
It may seem that this is open to abuse, although this is less likely if you only pay Statutory Sick Pay as the employee will receive less pay than if they had taken the time as holiday. You are still entitled to ask employees to comply with your sickness notification procedures and to supply medical evidence in the normal way, and employees should be reminded of the rules in place. It is also important to make sure that contracts of employment or policies dealing with holiday and sickness absences are up to date, and that managers are aware of employees’ rights.
If you have any questions about holiday entitlement or sick leave, or employment issues in general, contact Alexandra Robinson, Head of Employment Law: firstname.lastname@example.org