Q&As

Does an employee who has taken unpaid leave accrue holiday entitlement during that period; and do periods of unpaid leave or long-term sickness absence affect the amount of holiday pay an employee should receive?

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Published on LexisPSL on 08/09/2017

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does an employee who has taken unpaid leave accrue holiday entitlement during that period; and do periods of unpaid leave or long-term sickness absence affect the amount of holiday pay an employee should receive?

The right under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR 1998) is to a total of 5.6 weeks' annual leave each 'leave year', made up of:

  1. a basic entitlement to a minimum of four weeks' annual leave (20 days for a regular full-time worker) each leave year, implementing the right to annual leave under the Working Time Directive

  2. an additional entitlement to 1.6 weeks' annual leave (eight days for a regular full-time worker) each leave year, which is a right under domestic legislation only

For further information, see Practice Note: Holiday — Statutory holiday entitlement.

The right to annual leave under WTR 1998 is a right to paid leave (see below for further observations in this regard).

If (which seems likely in the case of a day here and there as unpaid leave) the contract continues during those days of unpaid leave, the employee will continue to accrue their 5.6 weeks' annual leave; entitlement under WTR 1998 accrues by virtue of the individual's status as a worker, and is not dependent on the employee actually physically being at work.

Where

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