Since 1st August 2015 employees now accrue statutory annual leave during periods of certified sick leave. This means that employees who are unable to take their statutory leave entitlement during a leave year because they are absent on certified sick leave will accrue normal statutory annual leave for that leave year. In addition employers now have to provide an extended period for the leave to be used i.e. within a period of 15 months from the end of the relevant leave year. However employees who remain on extended periods of sick leave will not retain the right to take the accrued leave at any point during their employment. If a 15 month period has elapsed after the end of the leave year in which it was accrued, employees will then forfeit the right to take any accrued leave from that particular year. They will however be eligible to continue to accrue leave for subsequent leave years if they remain absent on sick leave, with a further 15 month carry forward period applying in respect of each leave year.
It should be noted that the accrual is limited to statutory annual leave entitlement only unless Company policy provides for any additional contractual leave days to be accrued in this manner. Employees must also submit medical certificates for the period of absence in order to ensure that they can continue to accrue annual leave when out sick.