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By the 31st March 2024, workers will no longer be able to carry over leave they were unable to take during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, emergency rules were put in to place which meant workers could carry over up to 4 weeks of holiday into the next two leave years. Workers were entitled to carry over holiday if it was not reasonably practicable for them to take their leave as a result of the pandemic and the country being placed into lockdown.

However, from 1 January 2024, the COVID holiday carry over rules will be repealed and workers will no longer be entitled to Covid-19 carry over leave. The effect of the repeal also means that workers will now have to use their leave entitlement before 31 March 2024.

It is now essentially a ‘use it before you lose it’ scenario as employers cannot make a payment in lieu of this leave entitlement. However, this does not affect the usual payment in lieu rules which apply when employment terminates.

This repeal does not affect a workers’ right to carry over 1.6 weeks additional leave entitlement (subject to the applicable carryover rules).

The current legislation allows workers to carry over annual leave into the next leave year only where they are prevented from taking it due to family related leave (maternity leave or adoption leave) or sickness leave. However, following the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 there will be updates regarding this so stay tuned to find out more!

Employers should ensure their workers are aware of this change and carry out necessary measures to inform all workers and ensure that there is no Covid 19 carried over leave left prior to 31st March 2024.

If you have any further questions about leave entitlement and the upcoming changes to this area of employment law, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Consilia Legal.