Working Time Sickness

The ruling provides that a worker who falls sick can claim back days lost during a period of absence.

The case Asociacion Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribucion (ANGED) v Federacion de Asociaciones Sindicales (FASGA) confirms also that it does not matter whether the worker became sick before or during the period of annual leave. Under the EU Working Time Directive workers have the right to at least four weeks’ annual paid leave even if this coincides with periods of sickness.

Employers would be well advised to revisit their procedures and policies relating to annual leave and sickness absence to minimise the possibility of abuse by workers.

It remains to be seen whether there will be amendment to the Working time Regulations relating to the carrying over of leave into the next year. THE UK government appears not to be in favour of the interpretation of the Working Time Directive that has been adopted by the ECJ in a series of cases, including those involving the issue of counting of on-call time as working time. THE UK alongside several other EC member states have secured and wish to retain an opt-out for the maximum 48 hour working week and the terms of any reform to the Directive remain a long way from being agreed.