Employees on Long Term Sick Leave Entitled to Holidays


The European Court of Justice has ruled that employees are entitled to accrue holidays - even during long term sickness absence. Their ruling applies to all member states in the EU.

Under the ‘Working Time Directive’ employees are also entitled to a lump-sum payment for any holiday entitlement they’ve accrued but have not taken if they lose their jobs or quit while off on sick leave. This is in addition to any redundancy or termination payment that they are due.

The CBI and other employer organisations have attacked the ECJ’s ruling as a “blow to firms trying to keep jobs alive during the recession”.

Some employment law specialists have also expressed concern about the impact of the ruling. They fear it may provide an incentive for employers to dismiss employees on long term sick leave earlier than they would have done previously in order to limit the potential financial liability of keeping them on the payroll. 


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