Carrying over holiday

11 September 2015

Where a worker has been on long-term sick and hasn’t used their holiday leave, they may be able to carry it forward to the next holiday year. But does this right hinge on the employee being able to show that they weren’t able to take the leave because they were ill?

Plumb v Duncan Print Group

Where a worker has been on long-term sick and hasn’t used their holiday leave, they may be able to carry it forward to the next holiday year. But does this right hinge on the employee being able to show that they weren’t able to take the leave because they were ill?

It seems not. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employee who had been off work for four years was entitled to be paid for some accrued but untaken holiday.

Mr Plumb had an accident in 2010 and was off work from then until his employment terminated in 2014. He had claimed 60 days’ holiday pay for 2010, 2011 and 2012. The original tribunal dismissed his claim, saying that he couldn’t show that he was unable to take holiday during those years while on sick leave.

The EAT held that an employee doesn’t need to show this. Where a worker hasn’t taken annual leave because of sick leave, they are entitled to take it within a reasonable period of the end of the leave year in which it accrued – which, in this case, the tribunal thought was 18 months. So Mr Plumb was entitled to payment for the holiday year that ran from 2012 to 2013. He couldn’t be compensated for earlier years because the tribunal only allowed 18 months' of leave to be carried forward.

This might not be the final word on the subject. The EAT granted permission to appeal. So we shall have to wait and see what comes of this.


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