• Most employers encourage employees to use up their statutory entitlement by the end of the year to ensure that they comply with Regulation 13 and 13a WTR 1998 and to avoid facing financial penalties.

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many employees will be unable to take their annual leave due to either being a key worker or having to isolate, so the government has introduced a temporary amendment to the WTR 1998 to combat this issue.

    Current Regulations

    • Under WTR Regulation 13 a worker is entitled to four weeks annual leave, Regulation 13a provides a further 1.6 weeks of annual leave to bring the statutory minimum up to 5.6 weeks per annual leave year.
    • 1.6 weeks are allowed to be carried over one leave year with the agreement of the worker and employer however until now legislation did not provide for the remaining four weeks to be carried over.

    The amendment

    • The Working Time (Coronavirus)(Amendment) Regulations 2020 amends Working Time Regulations 1998. This amendment will allow a worker to carry over up to four weeks annual leave into the next two leave years where it is not reasonably practicable for a worker to take this annual leave due to the coronavirus.
    • All employers will be subject to this amendment in the same way they are subject to the Working Time Regulations 1998.

    ACAS Guidance

    Examples of when people cannot take holiday due to coronavirus:

    • self-isolating or too sick to take holiday before the end of the leave year
    • employee is laid off or put on furlough
    • employee had to continue working and therefore was unable to take paid leave
    • if an employee cannot take off a bank holiday due to the coronavirus they should use this day later in the leave year and if unable to this, it can be included within the four weeks paid holiday carried over into the next two leave years.

    If you require further guidance or advice on the above or any other general employment-related issues, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Brachers’ Employment team.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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