Can employees have extra time off when they are sick during their holiday?

You may have heard recently that there has been another European ruling which affects the way that we manage staff in the UK: Workers who fall sick during their annual leave are now entitled to take the corresponding period of paid leave at a later date. The ruling has immediate effect and it doesn’t matter whether you’re an SME or a large employer.

Employees have an entitlement of 5.6 weeks annual leave (including paid Bank Holiday) in each leave year. If an employee is on long term sickness absence and unable to take their annual leave, they can carry it over to the next leave year.

There are three steps you can take that will help you:

1) Ask your employees to comply with your sickness reporting procedures – eg to phone in to work on the day that they fall first sick.

2) If this is not be possible (particularly if the employee is on a long-haul holiday)  ask your employee to get a sick note from the doctor abroad to cover their period of absence.

3) You need to communicate these changes to your employees as well as updating your sickness policies so that it’s clear to your employees what your expectations are should they fall ill whilst on holiday.


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