Yet again the European Court of Justice has been dealing with the issue of what happens where an employee is sick during a period of pre-booked annual leave.
In the Spanish case of ANGED v FASGA the court confirmed that the right to take annual leave is a significant right under European law, and has a different purpose to sick leave (as had been established in the previous case of Pereda, which we have covered previously).
Although Pereda dealt with an employee who was already off sick at the time when annual leave commenced, the court found that the same should apply whenever the sick leave arises, i.e. even if the employee becomes sick while they are already on annual leave, and that any national law which provides otherwise would be unlawful.
The court also referred to Pereda as authority for the fact that the employee needs to be allowed to take their annual leave at a later date, even if that then falls outside the employer’s normal rules regarding carry-over to the next holiday year.
While we have not seen any recent significant cases on this point in this country, the UK courts will be bound to follow the European court in interpreting the Working Time Directive. While it is certainly not popular with employers and managers, the law in this area now seems to be clearly established.
This is an area where we frequently receive queries from clients – if you are dealing with an issue relating to holiday and sickness, then why not get in touch? Please call us on 01243 836840 for a no obligation chat.