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Staff on sick leave can reclaim lost holiday

The Court of Appeal has ruled that workers who have been on sick leave for more than a year are entitled to reclaim their holiday allowance in the next leave year, regardless of whether they have formally requested it.

The decision in NHS v Larner ruled that workers who cannot take holiday due to illness are entitled to reclaim it in a fresh leave year. The fact that they have been ill means they would not have been able to request to carry it over, the judgment said.

Although it is still unclear whether there will be a time limit on the right to carry forward leave, allowing long-term sick employees to carry leave forward automatically and to be paid for all the leave that has accrued on termination of employment could be very costly for employers.

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