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Rules on carry over of annual leave relaxed

Workers are usually entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. Except in limited circumstances, it cannot be carried between leave years meaning that workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.

New holiday rules

Workers who have not taken 20 days holiday entitlement due to COVID-19 can now carry it over into the next 2 leave years.

It only applies where it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take their annual leave due to the coronavirus.

Who decides?

The Regulations do not require any prior agreement between an employer and employee that it was not reasonably practicable for holiday to be taken in order for it to be carried over.

However, if an employee requests holiday then an employer must have ‘good reason’ for refusing it due to coronavirus. The term ‘good reason’ is not defined so the Government will expect employers, employees and (if necessary on any dispute) the Courts to apply common sense.

The Regulations are not confined to key workers so could, in principle, be used by employers for a wider range of employees.

Amending legislation

The Government introduced The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 to amend the Working Time Regulations 1998 to allow for the change.

When do the new rules take effect?

The new rules are effective from 27 March 2020.

For further information, please get in touch.