Sick Leave and Annual Leave
If you are ill during your annual leave and have a medical certificate for the days you were ill, these sick days will not be counted as annual leave days. Instead, you can use these days as annual leave at a later date. An employer cannot require you to take annual leave for a certified period of illness.
Since 1 August 2015, you accumulate statutory annual leave entitlement during a period of certified sick leave. Employees on long-term sick leave can retain annual leave they could not take due to illness for up to 15 months after the end of the year in which it is accrued.
Long-term sick leave and annual leave
Many employers insist that you take your annual leave by a particular date, for example, the end of the calendar year. In 2009 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in case C-350/06 that employees who have not worked during the leave year because they are on sick leave, are entitled to their statutory annual leave for that year. According to this ruling workers are entitled to accumulate annual leave while on sick leave. This ECJ ruling also applies to a worker who was on sick leave immediately before leaving the employment. This means that the worker would be entitled either to carry over, or receive payment for, annual leave which was not taken because the worker was on sick leave.
Since 1 August 2015, an amendment to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 allows workers accumulate statutory annual leave entitlement during a period of certified sick leave. It also allows workers to retain annual leave they could not take due to illness for up to 15 months after the end of the year in which it is accrued. Workers who leave their employment within 15 months of the end of the year in which this annual leave was accrued, are entitled to payment in lieu of this leave which was untaken due to illness.
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