There has been much debate over whether those on long-term sick leave have to request holiday in order to receive holiday pay during their absence. The EAT has provided authority for the proposition that such a request is not necessary.
The facts of this case are as follows:
- The employee was signed off sick for the whole of the pay year.
- The employee was dismissed on the ground of capability.
- The employer refused to pay statutory holiday pay on the basis that a request to take the holiday was never made.
Following Pereda the EAT found that an employee who is unable to take leave due to sickness is still entitled to 'enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure'. The holiday entitlement was carried over automatically and her right to be paid in respect of that entitlement crystallised on the termination of her employment.
Key point: Inevitably there will be more cases to follow on this point. Employers should be alive to the fact that employees on long-term sick leave are entitled to holiday.