The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) entitles workers to four weeks of annual leave in each leave year. Where any of this leave remains untaken at the end of a leave year, regulation 13 also prevents that leave being carried forward into the next leave year. The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 26 March 2020, have now inserted an exception to this bar on carrying forward untaken leave. The exception applies where at the end of a leave year it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take some or all of the leave to which the worker was entitled under regulation 13 as a result of the effects of coronavirus (including on the worker, the employer or the wider economy or society). In this case, the untaken leave may be carried forward and taken in the following two leave years. This change means staff can continue working in the national effort against the coronavirus without losing out on annual leave entitlement.

This change does not affect the additional 1.6 weeks of annual leave provided by regulation 13A of the WTR, but that additional leave can already be carried forward one leave year by agreement between workers and employers. 

In addition, regulation 14 of the WTR provides for a payment in lieu of any untaken annual leave where a worker’s employment terminates. The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 have also amended that regulation to provide for a payment in lieu of any coronavirus-related carried-forward annual leave that remains untaken on the date of termination. 

Source: New feed