Upcoming deadline for employees to use carried-over leave from COVID-19

The rules were introduced towards the start of the pandemic when employees sometimes struggled to take their full entitlement due to shortages in staff numbers and absences due to illness.

These rules ensured that employees could carry forward a total of four weeks’ leave for up to two years, where it was not reasonable for them to take these holidays due to COVID-19.

However, the remaining 1.6 weeks specified under the Working Time Directive (WTD) could not be carried over.

As of the 1st of January 2024, these rules have been repealed.

Any holidays carried forward under this ruling must be used up by the 31st of March 2024, at which point it would then be lost.

Employers should inform employees who have any remaining leave carried forward from COVID-19 of this deadline, allowing them to plan and book the relevant leave.

Employers can refuse the requested days if reasonable and can even schedule the days’ off (subject to providing sufficient notice).

Where an employee’s employment terminates on or before the 31st March 2024, they can claim pay instead of the remaining entitlement they couldn’t take due to the effects of COVID-19.

Stay in the know

We’ll keep you up to date with all the latest in employment law and HR. You can unsubscribe at any time.