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January 21, 2009

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Long-term sick still entitled to holiday pay

The European Court of Justice has ruled that employees who are absent from work on long-term sick leave are entitled to take all holiday they have accrued when they return to work.

It has also ruled that workers who are sacked or decide to leave a company are entitled to receive a lump-sum payment that is equivalent to the amount of holiday they accrued during their illness.

The ruling, which clarifies article 7 of the Working Time Directive, was requested by the House of Lords after it heard an appeal brought by a group of civil servants from HM Revenue & Customs. The workers argued that under European law they were entitled to holiday pay while they were absent from work due to illness.

The Confederation of British Industry has hit out at the ruling, which it claims could cripple smaller businesses already struggling under the current economic crisis. The group’s director of HR policy, Katja Hall, said: “This is a real blow to firms trying to keep jobs alive during this recession.

“Businesses themselves also suffer when staff take sick leave, and we had hoped that a compromise could have been achieved over unused holiday time. Instead, at a time when the economy is struggling, this judgement will ensure that staff are away from the workplace for longer.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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