The European Court of Justice (ECJ) have confirmed in the case of Sobczyszyn v Szkoła Podstawowa w Rzeplinie (ECJ C-178/15), that where an employee is prevented from taking paid annual leave due to sickness, then they can carry that leave over to the next holiday year.
The case involved a Polish teacher who had been told by her employer that she could not carry over her leave to the next holiday year.
It had already been established in the case of Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA (ECJ C-277/08), that where periods of illness occur in relation to paid annual leave, then that period cannot be deemed to form part of an employees minimum 4 weeks paid holiday entitlement, which they are entitled to under Article 7(1) of the Working Time Directive. The Court held that this is because holidays are for rest and relaxation, whilst sick leave is for recovery from illness. This principal applies, the Court ruled, regardless of whether the illness occurs either before or during a period of paid holiday leave.
The Court reconfirmed in the Sobczyszyn case that where there is no time to facilitate the deferred paid holiday leave during the current holiday year, then it should be carried over to the next holiday year.
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