The European Court made a significant recent ruling stating that ‘ where a worker who becomes unfit for work during a period of paid annual leave is entitled subsequently to the paid annual leave which coincided with the period of unfitness for work’ (C-7811).
Effectively, this means that a worker who becomes unfit for work before or during their paid annual leave is entitled to a period of leave at a later time, of the same duration of their sick leave. This actually goes against Ireland’s current legislation (under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997) so it may lead to a test case going to the European courts, potentially it will mean that Ireland will have to redefine it’s law to concur with the EU ruling.
What do we do? At the moment Irish employers should just be aware that annual leave and sick leave cannot be swapped. Employers should actively manage sick leave and annual leave, ensuring that employees on sick leave provide suitable medical certification, and where necessary, are asked to attend a company Occupational Health Practitioner. For further support on this issue contact Voltedge directly.