COVID-19: government passes working time amendment to allow holiday carryover

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 2 April 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.

On Friday 27 March 2020, the government passed the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. We’ve rounded up the key points that all business owners and employers have to know.

  • These amend the Working Time Regulations to allow the carryover of statutory holiday entitlement where it was not “reasonably practicable” for the worker to take “some or all” of this leave because of the effects of the coronavirus.
  • The effects can be on the worker, the employer or the wider economy or society.
  • The leave can be carried over for up to two leave years immediately following the leave year in which the holiday was due to be taken.
  • Unlike the general holiday provisions which allow employers considerable scope to say when holiday can and can’t be taken, an employer can only stipulate that the worker can’t take carried over holiday on particular days where they have a “good reason” for doing so.
  • Technically these regulations only cover the 4-week European Working Time Directive holidays but this is because there is already discretion to allow the carryover of the UK’s additional 1.6 weeks.
  • Despite lots of speculation in the media (triggered by the wording of the government’s unintentionally misleading press release), there is nothing in the regulations which restricts the carryover rights to key workers and they therefore apply to every sector.

Keeping you updated on how to protect your business through COVID-19

These are uncertain times, especially for employers and business owners. Our HR and Employment Law experts are tracking the news and latest government updates to help you understand the help available to you to keep your business running throughout the coming weeks of changes.

Keep an eye on our latest articlesfree guides and social media for more advice and guidance. And if you’re already a Citation client, you can call our advice line on 0345 844 4848.

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