Employees sick while on annual leave can retake time off

Employees who fall sick during their annual leave have the right to re-take that annual leave at a later date, irrespective of when they fell ill, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.

The ECJ stated that “the purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure. The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables the worker to recover from an illness that has caused them to be unfit for work”.

Previously, a worker who started a period of sick leave before a scheduled holiday commenced was entitled to take that leave at another time which did not coincide with period of sick leave but now a worker is entitled to take paid annual leave which coincides with a period of sick leave at a later point in time, irrespective of the point at which the incapacity for work arose.