Workers Can Still Accrue Holiday Entitlement While Sick

(Telegraph) – THE HOUSE OF LORDS HAS RULED that workers can still accrue holiday time while sick — even if the absence is long term.

The lords agreed with a claim by Keith Ainsworth, a former tax inspector in Chester, who complained that HM Revenue and Customs wrongly made a deduction from his wages involving holiday pay when he was ill.

In the judgement, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry concluded workers also had a right to carry over holiday leave, which they were unable to take while ill, into the following year’s allocation — or take pay in lieu.

Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood noted: ‘The purpose of a “holiday” from work is, at least in part, for the psychological and social well-being of the employee.’

He continued to say that holiday could be considered as similar to wages in terms of being something that was due to the employee whether they were ill or not.

The ruling means employees who return to work from a year of illness would legally be entitled to four weeks’ holiday immediately upon their return.

Tim Marshall, partner and UK head of employment at lawyers DLA Piper, said: ‘The judgment will increase the complexity of managing absence from work by allowing workers to take accrued holiday when they return to work — even after many months or more than a year off.

‘Until now the UK’s Working Time Regulations required employees to use all holiday leave within a year or lose it — a cost and time efficient way to manage leave.

‘Allowing workers to accrue statutory paid holiday entitlement during sickness absence will have serious financial and practical ramifications for employers across the UK.’

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: ‘This is a victory for common sense.’

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Pay Rates Cut To Fund New Holiday Entitlements

(Press Association) – A NEW REPORT BY INCOMES DATA SERVICES reveals that around two out of five of the biggest fast food and pub employers have decided to offset new holiday requirement legislation by cutting premiums for bank holiday working to standard hourly rates.

Other cost cutting measures, in low paying sectors, included recruitment freezes and phasing out, or cutting, additional holidays awarded for length of service.

EditorialThe report is based upon a survey of 168 organizations and comes as little surprise in the hostile economic climate, which has seen top-named restaurants forced to close in the wake of the credit crisis and falling demand. The low-margin, high-turnover service sector is particularly vulnerable to family spending cuts and, where variable costs have already been cut to the bone, the only place left to retrieve profit is often the wage bill. However, the real question is whether this strategy is just a temporary measure, or a cynical, opportunistic gambit to improve long-term profitability in the sector’s business model as we move further towards the 24/7 society that they wish us to become.

Perhaps the answer lies in what the report does not say. No mention is made of trimming opening hours in response to decreased demand; and we are not told whether management and company directors are to enjoy the new entitlement without any corresponding cuts to the levels of their pay…

Basic Holiday Entitlement Increased

(Directgov) – FROM 1 APRIL 2009, all workers have a statutory right to at least 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave (that is at least 28 days’ paid holiday if you work five days a week). Your employer could choose to include bank holidays in the 5.6 weeks.

Wednesday saw new government legislation that increased the previous twenty-four day minimum annual holiday entitlement in the UK, for those working five days a week, to a total of twenty-eight days.

To work-out your minimum entitlement, take the number of days you work each week and multiply it by 5.6.

The 5.6 figure is equivalent to 12.07% of the hours worked.

The Directgov site provides a number of example workings, and also provides an online calculator to compute entitlements accurately.

… (05/05/2009) – Pay Rates Cut To Fund New Holiday Entitlements

… (10/06/2009) – Workers Can Still Accrue Holiday Entitlement While Sick