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Furlough and annual leave

Shortly after our last guidance was issued (see here), the Government issued a further press release confirming that employees who are not able to take their annual leave in the year to which it relates due to the coronavirus will be able to carry over four weeks (20 days) leave into the next two leave years.

We have been asked by a number of clients what will happen with employees who are due to take annual leave or those who are not able to take all their annual leave in the year to which it relates due to being furloughed, or because their employers need them to carry out additional work as a result of the current crisis.  Whilst we were of the view that it was likely to be possible to carry over some annual leave in these circumstances, this press release will come as a welcome confirmation of this point.

The aim is to ease the burden on employers who may otherwise end up short staffed following a return to work in due course, and to give employers and their employees who need to continue working during the crisis more flexibility in when they take their leave.

This could prove extremely useful for those businesses whose furloughed employees cannot take leave during furlough and so would otherwise end up with significant amounts of holiday to take in a short period of time, once everyone is back at work, leading to further issues for already struggling employers.

We fully understand that there are still troubling uncertainties for you all amid the current national crisis. Our team at Schofield Sweeney are here to answer your questions and support you and your business to make the right decisions. Call us on 0113 849 4000 or email employment@schofieldsweeney.co.uk and see how we can help you.

We have also produced a handy set of expert articles for employers, businesses and individuals as the situation with coronavirus and employment law develops.