The European Court of Justice has ruled that workers who become ill when on annual paid leave will now be allowed to take off at a later date - "A worker is entitled to take paid annual leave which coincides with a period of sick leave at a later point in time, irrespective of the point at which the incapacity for work arose."
Here's a variety of responses from the business world:
"Does this mean that an employee who is ill with a "tummy bug" during a foreign holiday has to be counted as sick and not on holiday? If so, be prepared for lots of claims for extra days' holidays."
"Some lazy guys out there will abuse this ruling, which is intended to give workers the right to a full vacation rest instead of having it at the informary."
"This doesn't answer the case of an employee whose sick pay entitlement has expired and asks to be treated as being on paid annual leave during a period of sickness. If allowed, this would be contrary to the purpose of the leave as expressed by the ECJ."
"An example of where this ruling makes perfect sense occured some years ago in my organisation. A salesperson had booked a two-week holiday overseas; he suffered a strain injury the week before and realised that he would not be able to engage in the activities planned, so he cancelled the trip. He asked to reschedule the holiday; we agreed that he was in fact off sick so we agreed. It was just common sense."
"If someone is inclined to take the odd sick day here and there they will do so regardless of this ruling and should be dealt with via the company's absence procedure. For the majority who have a good attendance record, they are unlikely to claim they have been ill on holiday."
"I am going to reinforce the absence policy wording and remind staff that they have to advise all absences as stated in the policy. With technology the way it is, people can ring, text, email or send a message via someone in the country they work in."
"If it is treated as ordinary sick leave then the employee can just call and say: "I'm sick and I do not want this to be charged to my holiday leave." That would definitely be susceptible to gross manipulation. Hence the period must be determined as well as presentation of medical support."
Tags: paid leave, unwell, HR legislation, employee sickness