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This message accompanies the 'Employees Entitled to Holiday Pay whilst on Long Term Sickleave' bulletin, which will follow immediately behind this Email

Employment Appeal Tribunal says that employers must pay four weeks' holiday pay to employees on long term sickleave.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that companies must pay four weeks' holiday pay to all employees on long-term sickleave, even where their rights under their contract of employment, and their entitlement to statutory sickpay, have run out.

Daniel Barnett, barrister at 2 Gray's Inn Square, says:

"This is an example of an unintended consequence of European legislation 'trumping' common sense. The Employment Appeal Tribunal's decision has unintended social, economic and employment consequences.

"Employers will no longer be able to keep long-term sick employees on their books, at least not without paying them four weeks' salary a year. This will result in otherwise unnecessary dismissals which, in turn, might result in employees losing their entitlements to Permanent Health Insurance (sometimes a perk of remaining employed by large companies when on long-term sick).

"Equally, some employees may feel pressured to return to work before they are well, because of a fear they will be dismissed.

"The government should amend the Working Time Regulations to remove this unintended anomaly."