Legal Information Centre

01 February 2008 by Mary Heaney

Employment law could see changes in sick law

Sick leave should count towards holiday entitlement says Advocate General.
An Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has claimed that employees off work on sick leave should still be allow to build their holiday entitlement during that period.


The claims were made in a Working Time Regulations case, during which it was also asserted that employees that had been sacked from firms after a period of illness should be allowed to claim the holiday in lieu, Out Law reports.


And law firm Pinsnet Masons revealed that the move would be a blow to companies as well as workers.


Catherine Barker, an employment lawyer, said: "This is disappointing for employers because it will potentially increase the cost to employers of keeping the long-term sick on their books,"


She added: "But it could also be bad news for employees because it could lead to employers looking to limit their liability in sickness cases by terminating employment more quickly than they otherwise would, even if absent for genuine incapacity reasons."


While not legally binding the thoughts of the Advocate General will be taken into account by the European Court of Justice.

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