Accrual of Annual Leave Whilst on Sick Leave

From 1 August 2015, employees accrue annual leave during periods of sickness absence. The sick leave however, must be certified, therefore this will generally apply to those on long-term sick leave.

Any leave accrued must be taken within 15 months of the end of the leave year in which it accrued.

For Example

Mary works for ABC Limited where the annual leave year runs from 1 January to 31 December. Mary is continuously absent from work on long term sick leave from 1 May 2015 until 1 September 2018. 

Mary returns to work full time on 1 September 2018

  • Mary is not entitled to statutory annual leave between 1 May 2015 and 31 July 2015 as the changes in the 2015 Act do not apply retrospectively.
  • Mary is not entitled to the benefit of her statutory annual leave between 1 August 2015 and 31 December 2015 as she did not return to work within 15 months of the end of the leave year. For the same reason, Mary is not entitled to the benefit of her statutory annual leave between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.
  • Mary is entitled to the benefit of her statutory annual leave between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 as she returned to work within 15 months of the end of the leave year.
  • Mary is also entitled to the benefit of her statutory annual leave between 1 January 2018 and 31 August 2018.
  • Mary will continue to accrue her leave from 1 September 2018 in the normal way.

If an employee leaves employment they should be paid in lieu of any accrued leave, otherwise there is no entitlement to be paid for annual leave.

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