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EAT rules unused annual leave due to sickness can be carried over for 18 months

9 July 2015

In Plumb v Duncan Print Group Limited, the EAT has ruled that a worker is permitted to take annual leave, which is unused due to sickness, within 18 months of the leave year in which it accrued.

Mr Plumb had been on sick leave because of an accident for four years at the time of his dismissal. He sought payment for holiday accrued in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

On appeal, the EAT held that just because Mr Plumb couldn’t show that he had not taken leave because of his health, did not mean he wasn’t entitled to claim. The fact that he was unwilling or unable to take the holiday had no bearing and he should be permitted to take it at a later date.

Both parties were permitted to appeal the decision (we will provide an update should this happen) but nonetheless this ruling is something that employers should be aware of, particularly when employees are on sick leave for a prolonged period of time.

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