The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a worker who is unable to take the four week’s annual leave accrued under the Working Time Regulations due to sickness absence does not have to make a request to carry their untaken leave over into the next leave year.

In making its decision the Court found that it was possible to read words into the Working Time Regulations 1998 that carry-over of holiday into a subsequent leave year is possible where a worker is unwilling or unable due to sickness absence to take their holiday in the leave year during which it was accrued. This happens automatically and without any requests being required by the employee or worker. If a worker or employee is dismissed before they can take the leave, they are entitled to payment in lieu of the leave accrued.