The Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) has held that a worker who becomes unfit for work during a period of statutory annual leave is entitled to reschedule the annual leave, according to Article 7(1) of the Working Time Directive.  

The CJEU case of Pereda had already set the precedent that a worker who falls ill before the annual leave starts is entitled to reschedule. It therefore follows that a worker who falls ill after the annual leave has started should also be able to reschedule. The CJEU also stated:  

  • The entitlement of every worker to paid annual leave is a paramount principle of EU social law from which there can be no derogations.  
  • The annual leave which must be rescheduled can be taken outside of the holiday year if necessary.  

Key point: Although this case has not altered the position drastically in relation to sick pay and holiday, the press coverage flowing from it has brought it to people’s attention at a time when a lot of people go on holiday. Employers may wish to revisit their policies to ensure sickness has to be reported on the first day of absence (regardless as to whether the absence is abroad) and that medical evidence is provided to support the sick leave.  

Asociación Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribución (ANGED) v Federación de Asociaciones Sindicales (FASGA) and others C-78/11(2012)