Holiday Entitlement During Periods of Sick Leave - Expert Comments

Gillian Cumming
23rd Jan 2009

All about what the decision in Pereda definitely means, what it might mean and what it does not mean.

Time off work for training

Over the past week, there has been a great deal of debate about what the decision in Pereda actually means for UK employers. We discuss below what the decision definitely means, what it might mean and what it does not mean.


What did Pereda definitely decide?


The ECJ has definitely decided that where an employee is on sick leave prior to the start of a scheduled period of annual leave, under the Working Time Directive, the employee can choose not to take that period of annual leave, but to take the annual leave at another time once he or she has recovered, even if that means it cannot be taken by the end of the current leave year.


The Court went on to clarify that if an employee wants to take annual leave, even although they are off sick at the relevant time, they are free to do so. This is consistent with the view we have expressed in previous email updates.


Therefore, it now seems clear that in respect of annual leave covered by the Working Time Directive, employees can choose whether to convert their booked annual leave into sick leave or to go ahead and take the annual leave as planned.

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