And finally, with the holiday season upon us, it seems only right that we should highlight a recent case working its way through the European Courts which may curtail the holiday that employees can claim to accrue during periods of long-term sick leave.
In KHS AG v Schulte, a German case that has been referred to the ECJ, the Advocate General said that whilst workers on long-term sick leave continue to accrue their “working time” holiday entitlement, there is nothing in EU law which says this should go on ad infinitum. In her view it may be appropriate to place limits on the amount of holiday that can be carried over from one leave year to the next. Whilst a carry-over period of six months would be insufficient, the Advocate General suggested that it may be lawful for any unused annual leave to expire 18 months from the end of the holiday year in which the holiday accrued. Member States would, however, be at liberty to include more generous provisions.
Unfortunately the Advocate General’s Opinion is not binding on the ECJ and it may be therefore that when it considers this case it concludes otherwise. We simply have to keep our fingers crossed.