ECJ Confirms that Leave can be Rescheduled if Worker is Sick During Their Leave
In a ruling today, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed what was already widely believed to be the case: if a worker falls ill during a period of annual leave, they can elect to take leave (for those days they are unable to enjoy relaxation and leisure) at another time; this would apply even if this is in the following leave year.
Back in September 2009, the case of Pereda established that leave entitlements arising out of the Working Time Directive could be rearranged if a worker became ill, and was unable to take their leave for the intended purpose – to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure, and today’s ruling – ANGED – confirms that this is the case if the worker becomes ill during their holiday too.
Only earlier this month, the Daily Mail & The Sun ran articles critical of the BBC & Civil Service for allowing what is now confirmed as a legal requirement – at least for leave entitlements under the Working Time Directive.
As with a lot of ECJ rulings, what is not (at least yet) clear is how this will impact the extra 8 days provided under Regulation 13A of the Working Time Regulations – days that provide additional annual leave in the UK to compensate for the typical bank holidays: if a worker has taken 20 days leave before they suffer ill-health, the ECJ’s judgment may not apply or be accepted by UK courts & tribunals.