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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Hello I have been off work on long-term sickness. My SSP has

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I have been off work on long-term sickness. My SSP has been exhausted and I have been receiving nil pay for a couple of months.
I have just returned from 1 weeks holiday, which my employer granted "as it would do me good to get away".
However on payday no holiday money was paid. After contacting my employer I was told sickness takes precedence over holiday pay.
I am a little confused as I am entitled to 2 weeks paid annual leave (pro rata for this holiday year) and I have carried over 3 weeks paid annual leave from the last holiday year.
Is this legal or is this classed as unlawful deduction of wages?
Please can you advise. I am in the midst of a grievance process I instigated against my employers for a catalogue of errors/ breaches of their policies. Is this another unlawful act?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

You are entitled to take holidays during sick leave and should be paid your normal pay during that time. It is incorrect that sick pay takes precedence over holiday pay. You can get confirmation from various sources, for example:


"In Stringer v HMRC, the ECJ ruled that a period of sickness absence cannot result in workers losing any part of their entitlement to minimum paid holiday. Workers on long-term sick leave accrue statutory holiday and must be paid for it at their normal rate of pay, even if their sickness lasts for the whole of the holiday year."




"To avoid Tribunal claims, employers should pay holiday pay for holidays that have been requested and approved during a period of sick leave.... In practice, employers may find employees taking paid holidays once company sick pay runs out. For employers who only pay statutory sick pay, employees may seek to take holidays to cover short periods of sickness absence, such as 3 or 4 days."




Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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