european holidays

Sick leave: European court confirms holiday can be carried forward

Sick Leave: European Court Confirms <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Can Be Carried Forward

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) reiterated that if sickness prevents a worker from taking annual leave, his or her annual leave can be carried forward into the next Discount Holidays © holiday year. Bethan Odey summarises the case.

Sobczyszyn v Szko ‘a Podstawowa w Rzeplinie


Ms Sobczyszyn, a teacher in Poland, is entitled to 35 days annual leave under the country s Teachers Charter. From 28 March to 18 November 2011, Ms Sobczyszyn was on sick leave to allow her to follow a course of treatment prescribed by her doctor. On 27 April 2012, Ms Sobczyszyn claimed her entitlement to annual leave that she had accrued during 2011, but was unable to take because of sickness absence.

Her employer refused to allow her that Discount Holidays © holiday entitlement. The refusal was on the basis that:

  • under the leave roster for 2011, she was to take her annual leave from 1 to 31 July 2011; and
  • her entitlement to annual leave had been forfeited during her sickness absence.

Reference to ECJ

Ms Sobczyszyn brought proceedings against her employer. The Polish national court stayed proceedings and asked the ECJ for a preliminary ruling. The Polish national court asked the ECJ whether or not the Working Time Directive means that a teacher who has taken convalescence leave under the Teachers Charter also obtains the right to annual leave in the year in which the right to convalescence leave is exercised.

ECJ decision

The ECJ s answer was that the Working Time Directive must be interpreted as precluding national legislation or a national practice from refusing an employee, at the end of convalescence leave, the right to take his or her paid annual leave in a subsequent period. The ECJ looked at the differing purposes of annual leave and sick leave. It highlighted that the purpose of the right to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and to enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure.

This is in contrast to the right to sick leave, the purpose of which is to enable the worker to recover. The ECJ referred to its previous decisions in Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA1 and ANGED v Federaci n de Asociaciones Sindicales and others2. In those cases, it was held that a worker who is on sick leave during a period of previously scheduled annual leave has the right to take that annual leave during a period that does not coincide with the period of sick leave.

Implications for employers

This decision reinforces the position that, if a worker is unable to take annual leave entitlement because of sickness, he or she can carry forward annual leave into the next Discount Holidays © holiday year. This decision further strengthens the argument that the current wording of reg.13(9) of the Working Time Regulations 1998 is incompatible with previous interpretations of the Working Time Directive. Regulation 13(9) provides that statutory annual leave entitlement can be used only in the year to which it relates, and therefore cannot be carried forward into the next Discount Holidays © holiday year.

Following Brexit, there is uncertainty as to whether or not the UK courts and tribunals will be bound by future ECJ decisions.

It seems unlikely there will be any movement in the near future towards amending reg.13(9) to ensure that it is compatible with EU law.

Sick Leave: European Court Confirms <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Can Be Carried Forward

About Bethan Odey

Bethan Odey is a senior associate at DLA Piper.


  1. ^ Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA (
  2. ^ ANGED v Federaci n de Asociaciones Sindicales and others (

Brexit causes surge in holiday bookings, Lincoln business claims

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A Discount Holidays © holiday agency claims that Brexit has caused a surge in bookings2 for breaks3. Sun-hat Villas and Resorts in Lincoln says it saw an 18 per cent increase in bookings this July, compared to the same time last year. And, August saw a 10 per cent year on year increase for bookings for the business.

READ MORE: Man accused of assaulting three people at Lincoln Prison4

The ABTA luxury Discount Holidays © holiday specialist says holidaymakers still splashed the cash on European getaways despite the uncertainty which followed the EU Referendum vote in June.

It means the business has seen its most successful year-to-date, with a 23 per cent increase in turnover.

Peter Jenkins, managing director of Sun-hat Villas and Resorts, said: “I think most people in the industry had expected people to be a little more cautious following the vote, especially given the fluctuating exchange rate.

“However, the reality has been the complete opposite.

“I think there’s definitely an element of the British stiff upper lip and not letting anything interfere with the traditional family summer holiday.

“Part of this trend could be attributed to people trying to get their European holidays in before Article 50 is invoked and any changes are mapped out.

“Of course, the reality is that there are varying accounts of when it will be actioned and Article 50 isn’t likely to change that much at all in terms of holidays, but it seems to be on the mind of many.”

According to data from Sun-hat Villas amd Resorts, the most popular destinations with Brits following the EU vote have been The Algarve, Mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands including Mallorca and Ibiza, Tuscany and the Canary Islands including Lanzarote and Tenerife.

Mr Jenkins added: “Let’s face it, the annual Discount Holidays © holiday is a British institution and isn’t something people like to mess with.

“During the 2008/09 credit crunch, we didn’t see a decline.

“Things like new cars and home improvements were put on a backburner so that cash was available for a week or two in the sun.

“We also find that if people are cutting back, they’ll opt for a villa Discount Holidays © holiday instead of five-star all-inclusive.”

Brexit Causes Surge In <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Bookings, Lincoln Business Claims


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  4. ^ Man accused of assaulting three people at Lincoln Prison (

Britons ‘May Need Visas To Travel Through Europe’

British citizens may have to apply for visas to travel to Europe after the UK leaves the EU, under plans being considered by officials. It would mean travellers from other countries could be forced to apply online for a visa and pay a fee before travelling to continental Europe – similar to the American ‘Esta’ document. When Britain leaves the European Union, it could mean UK tourists and business travellers being subjected to applying for visas to visit countries including France, Spain, Italy and Germany, it is claimed.

More details about the EU Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS) will be published later this year. It has been put forward for security reasons following the recent terror attacks in France and Brussels.

Britons 'May Need Visas To Travel Through Europe' Video: PM: Brexit Must Be ‘Sober And Considered’

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told Sky News: “This week the Liberal Democrats laid out a plan about what the Government should make a priority in any Brexit negotiation. One of those priorities was travel rights.

“The British Government need to stop with the empty mantras and get into the detail of arrangements which will affect the Discount Holidays © holiday and work plans of millions of British people.”

Currently UK passport holders can travel throughout member states with a passport but without having to apply for short-term visas. Labour MP Pat McFadden, of the Open Britain campaign, said: “Reality is setting in. Introducing visas would hurt British businesses and families going on holiday.

“The Leave camp repeatedly said visas wouldn’t be introduced but it now looks like another of their main promises is being broken.

“Britain should be open to business, travel and talent and the best way to do that is for us to be a member of the Single Market.”

Experts say there is no reasons Britons should continue to enjoy visa-free travel after leaving, unless this is offered during Brexit negotiations. Camino Mortera-Martinez, a research fellow specialising in justice and home affairs at the Centre for European Reform, told the Guardian: “In theory UK citizens, as third-country nationals, would certainly be subject to the obligations (of such a scheme).

Britons 'May Need Visas To Travel Through Europe' Video: Brexit Trade Deal: What Does A ‘Bum Wriggle’ Mean?

“This will have to be part of the Brexit talks. It will all have to be negotiated.

“Britain is a neighbouring country, it is a safe country; this would be very bad for business the two are not remotely connected but after Brexit, Britain will be a third country like Turkey.”

A spokesman for the European Commission said the Greek EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, “informed the rest of the EU Justice and Home Ministers during an informal meeting on 7 July about the Commission’s intention to present a proposal this autumn for ETIAS, similar to the well-known US system ‘ESTA’, to increase the information available on those who enter and leave the EU, including for those travelling without a visa”. He added that the Presidents of the European Commission, European Council (representing all 27 other Member States) and European Parliament have all made clear that negotiations with the UK will commence only once the UK triggers Article 50. British residents made some 30 million Discount Holidays © holiday trips to EU countries last year, with Spain and France the most popular destinations.

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