A landmark ruling by the ECJ provided authority for the proposition that a period of sickness while on annual leave does not count towards the minimum period of holiday prescribed by the Working Time Directive (WTD). The WTD was implemented in the UK by the Working Time Regulations 1998, which currently provide for a statutory minimum period of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave. Following the decision handed down in Stringer above, this decision dealt another potential blow to employers.

As stated above, with regard to the carrying over of holiday, no guidance was given in Stringer as to what 'unable' meant. In Pereda, the ECJ suggested that the sickness itself would make a worker 'unable' to take the holiday.

Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA (2009)