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EAT confirms 18 month limit on carrying over holiday

Employers will welcome clarification by the EAT that holiday which cannot be taken due to sick leave must be taken within a maximum of 18 months from the end of the relevant holiday year. Holiday will lapse if it is not taken within this period.

Prior to this recent decision, the maximum period within which an employer should allow a sick worker to carry over holiday was an area of uncertainty.

The case also confirms that a sick worker does not have to show that he was physically unable to take holiday due to sickness. He is still entitled to carry over holiday where he was unwilling to take it. All that matters is that the worker was absent on sick leave and did not take, or request to take, holiday. In this situation, an employer should allow the worker to carry over the untaken holiday. 

This decision applies only to the 4 weeks' holiday under the EU Working Time Directive and not the additional 1.6 weeks' holiday under the UK Working Time Regulations. Nor does it apply to any additional company holiday. 

Due to the many recent changes in the law on holiday pay, the EAT gave the parties leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. We will keep you updated on any further developments as the case law evolves. 

For more on the decision in this case (Plumb v Duncan Print Group Ltd), click here.

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at June 2015. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions on www.TLTsolicitors.com

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