The Supreme Court recently held in NHS Leeds v Larner that the statutory right to 28 days annual leave or, if the leave cannot be taken before termination of employment, the right to a payment in lieu of untaken leave, is not conditional upon a sick worker having made a leave request to the employer in the relevant leave year.
This is an important decision because it clarifies two challenges which employers have faced as a result of domestic case law and which have been the subject of considerable debate: (i) whether a worker who is sick during a period of booked annual leave is automatically entitled to take the leave at another time; and (ii) whether a worker who is on long-term sick leave for the whole of a leave year is entitled to carry forward leave (or to a payment in lieu of leave accrued in preceding years on termination of employment) if no request for leave has been made. In both cases the answer is yes.
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