Deadline looms for Covid carry-over leave

  • Employment Law
Holiday rules changing
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Any employees with carried over leave from the Covid period will have to take their holiday by 31 March or lose it

The emergency rules on annual leave implemented in March 2020 meant that workers could carry over four weeks of holiday into the next two leave years where it was not reasonably practicable for them to take it because of the effects of Covid.

However, from 1 January 2024 these Covid holiday carry-over rules ended and employees who have any ‘Covid carry-over leave’ accrued that they have not yet taken have until 31 March 2024 to use it.

Employers should make employees aware that any Covid carry-over leave not taken by this date will be lost and encourage them to use their entitlement.

The usual annual leave rules mean that almost all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. However, most of this entitlement cannot be carried between leave years, meaning workers lose their holiday if they do not take it. There are exceptions when a worker cannot take annual leave due to sickness or maternity leave.

There is also an obligation on employers to ensure their workers take their statutory entitlement in any one year – failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.

For the purposes of annual leave, a year is the leave year as agreed in writing between the worker and their employer, usually stipulated in a worker’s contract. Although for some workers this will align with the calendar year (1 January to 31 December), it can be any year long period that is agreed upon.

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like How do I sort out holiday carry over?

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