Tom Keighley

Member Article

Sick leave ruling bad news for employers

Yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling on the case of NHS Leeds v Larner, is bad news for employers, employment law specialists have warned.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that a worker who is off sick does not need to request to take holiday when they are off sick in order to carry it over to the next holiday year.

Employment law specialists at Taylor Wessing have warned employers will be faced with workers returning from sick leave with holiday to take, and workers will be entitled to be paid for such carried over holiday.

Simon Gorham, employment lawyer at Taylor Wessing commented: “The decision is bad news for employers, particularly smaller employers, in the private sector who may not have the resources to pay out large sums to those whose employment terminates, or who have struggled to cope with covering sickness absence and now again are faced with yet more strain as these workers take the holiday they’ve carried over.”

Mrs Larner had been employed to work at NHS Leeds for 20 hours per week and her terms and conditions stated that she would accrue annual leave during sick leave, but that it could only be carried over in exceptional circumstances.

Chris Wellham, Of Counsel in the employment team at Hogan Lovells, said: “A number of European Court Justice cases make it clear that legislation can limit the period for which carry-over is permitted.

“Although the Modern Workplaces consultation that took place last year suggested that the Working Time Regulations could be amended to introduce a limit, we are still waiting for the outcome of that consultation. Clarification of this aspect of the Regulations would be a good fit with the Government’s desire to reduce burdensome regulation and costs for businesses.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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