An amendment has been made to the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) with effect from 27 March 2020 to allow workers to carry over any untaken statutory leave into the next two years, where leave has not been taken because of the coronavirus pandemic. These changes come amid concerns that the UK’s key industries, such as healthcare, may face staff shortages during the crisis due to current leave requirements.
Under the WTR, all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday, including bank holidays, each year. However most of this entitlement cannot be carried over between leave years meaning workers will lose their holiday if they do not take it. The changes to the WTR, implemented with immediate effect by the Working Time (Coronavirus) Amendment Regulations 2020, will allow <u>up to 4 weeks </u>of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years where it is not reasonably practicable for the worker to take it. In addition, employees will be entitled to receive payment in lieu of any carried over holiday from this leave year if their contract is terminated during the next two years.
Article written with assistance from Remy Ormersher, Trainee Solicitor
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Whether it is in our hospitals, or our supermarkets, people are working around the clock to help our country deal with the coronavirus pandemic. “Today’s changes will mean these valued employees do not lose out on the annual leave they are entitled to as a result of their efforts, and employers are not penalised.”