On Friday 27 March 2020, The Working Time Regulations have been amended to give workers an entitlement to carry over 4 weeks of their annual leave if they are unable to take it because of coronavirus. This may be because:
- they’re self-isolating or are too sick to take holiday before the end of their leave year
- they’ve been temporarily sent home as there’s no work (‘laid off’ or ‘put on furlough’)
- they’ve had to continue working and could not take paid holiday
Leave can be carried over into the next two leave years after 2020. This only applies to the first four weeks of leave under the Regulations. The other 1.6 weeks of stat min leave is already capable of being carried over to the next leave year with agreement from the employer and the new laws do not change this. This means that all stat min annual leave accrued in this leave year is now capable of being carried over, in the following way:
- 4 weeks (legal entitlement to be carried over to next two leave years)
- 1.6 weeks (employers can agree that this be carried over to the next leave year. If employers do not already have rules in place about carry over of this portion, then it would be advisable to have some now for clarity purposes (whether to allow it or not). If they have rules which do not permit carry over of this portion to the next leave year, they may want to consider relaxing these)
- Anything above stat min (down to employer’s rules and some employers already have rules on employer buy back)
Bank holidays that cannot be taken because of the above reasons are within the carry over rules.
Annual leave continues to accrue during lay off/furlough.
Further details of this can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/rules-on-carrying-over-annual-leave-to-be-relaxed-to-support-key-industries-during-covid-19