This site is intended for health professionals only

Law: Rules set for holiday rights

16 August 2013

Share this article

A number of high-level court cases have set new precedent for NHS employees’ holiday and sickness rights. 

NHS Employers has published an updated overview of the most important cases.


HMRC v Stringer 

This 2009 case states that workers on sick leave continue to accrue annual leave. If workers are not given the opportunity to take annual leave during this time, they should be allowed to carry it over to the next year. 

Holiday can be taken whilst a worker is on sick leave. 

NHS Leeds v Larner

This case from the Court of Appeal looked into whether workers need to request to take leave before the entitlement to leave/payment question arises. The Court decided that it’s not necessary under the Working Time Regulations, where the worker is unable (or unwilling) to take annual leave because of sickness. 

Sood Enterprises v Healy

The amount of annual leave which may be carried over to a new year is at least four weeks, according to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal confirmed that, unless there is a ‘relevant agreement’, the additional 1.6 weeks’ regulated annual leave does not carry over. 

A full time worker can only carry over 20 days, not 28 days. 


For frequently asked questions visit NHS Employers