The relationship between annual leave entitlement and sickness absence has been something of a talking point over the past few years, with the recurring theme being considerable uncertainty as to what the correct position is in certain areas.

There have been a number of cases recently on the matter in both the European and domestic courts and we do finally seem to be getting to a position of greater certainty.

The general pattern is a steady increase in the rights of those on long term sickness absence to benefit from their statutory annual leave entitlement, through the accrual and carrying over of entitlement. There are though still a number of questions which remain to be definitely answered, including how long accrued leave can be carried over for.