I Couldn’t Take My Holidays – So What Happens to My Entitlement?
“I carried on working and wasn’t furloughed but it was not possible to take my holidays, so do I lose them”?
The answer is NO, you do not.
Almost all workers, including zero-hour contracted workers and those on irregular hours contracts, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. The exception is those who are genuinely self-employed.
You may have a contract that entitles you to additional paid holiday beyond this, known as contractual holiday entitlement.
But in this Covid-19 situation what happens when staff cannot take their holiday entitlement?
If you have been furloughed, and taken your holidays, then you should have been paid your correct holiday pay which is likely to be higher than the rate of pay that will be covered by government grants, with the employer making up the difference.
Carrying leave forwards: new legislation has changed the rules
Emergency legislation is there to protect you from losing your statutory holiday entitlement. These regulations allow you to carry holiday forward where the impact of corona virus means that it has not been reasonably practicable for you to take it.
Where it has not been reasonably practicable for you to take some or all of the 4 weeks’ holiday due to the effects of corona virus, the untaken amount may be carried forward into the following 2 leave years. When calculating how much holiday you can carry forwards, your employer must give you the opportunity to take any leave that is due before the end of that year.
Payment in lieu for carried leave
Leave carried forward is still subject to the usual rules around payment in lieu. Your employer must facilitate you to take your their annual leave and not replace it with a financial payment (known as payment in lieu).
However, if you leave your employment, your employer must pay you for any untaken leave. This will include the carried leave under the coronavirus exemption, along with any leave that the worker has accrued in the relevant leave year.
The Graham Agency, working with you.