Carry over of untaken annual leave

Under the Working Time Directive (the Directive), workers are entitled to paid annual leave of at least four weeks. The Directive's aim is to make sure that a worker recuperates from the effort and stresses of work.

Where the worker is off on long term sick, the question of whether the worker can carry over accrued untaken annual leave whilst off sick and for how long has been considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the case of Plumb v Duncan Print Group Ltd [2015].


Mr Plumb, a printer, went off sick in April 2010 following an accident. In July 2013, Mr Plumb asked to take leave accrued since the commencement of his sick leave from April 2010. Duncan Print Group Ltd declined to allow Mr Plumb to take any annual leave that he would have accrued in 2010, 2011 or 2012 and agreed to let him take annual leave accrued in 2013/2014. Mr Plumb subsequently left his employment in February 2014 and brought a claim for payment in lieu of 60 days’ annual leave accrued but untaken for those years.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


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Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.