Sickness Pay and holiday entitlement

Sarah Everton

12 January 2018

What happens to my paid holiday entitlement when I am off sick and can the holiday entitlement be claimed back?

When you are off sick, you continue to build up your entitlement to paid holiday, which you can take when you go back to work.

It can be a good idea to use this holiday as part of a planned gradual return to work after a long period of sickness absence.

Alternatively, you can choose to take holiday instead of sick leave while you are off sick. You should notify your employer of your plan to do this. Taking paid holiday might be sensible if, for example, you have used up your entitlement to occupational sick pay at full pay.

Expert employment solicitor Sarah Everton explains and answers some questions on sickness pay in relation to holidays and how it works.

Can an employee go on holiday whilst on sick leave?

If an employee is off on sick leave they may still be able to go on holiday, it may be they've pre-booked holiday and they would lose the holiday if they didn't go on it. An employee may be sick but that doesn't mean that they have to remain in the house it could be that reasonable level of activity and being out and about may actually be beneficial to them. However, if you've got an employee who's off with a leg injury and you find out that they've gone skiing on a pre-book skiing holiday you may have some questions to ask about that.

If an employee becomes sick whilst on holiday, can they take this time as sick leave?

Employees who become ill on a period of annual leave can ask to take the period as sickness and take holiday again at a later date.

There are limits to the amount of time that can be taken at a later date and the period within it which can be taken which are set out in these Working Time Regulations and which don't always fit very neatly with the legislation we have in place so it would be a good idea to discuss this and if there was an issue to perhaps seek further advice on is.

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