Holiday Leave: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 5th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of employees (1) taking, and (2) being required to take, annual leave whilst on furlough.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a vital element of the Government’s efforts to protect the economy during COVID-19. Employees continue to accrue holiday while on furlough, as per their employment contract, unless the employer and employee agree to vary this as part of the furlough agreement. It remains the case in employment law that an employer may ask employees to take holiday in the period of furlough. This would be a negotiation between employer and employee, and Working Time Regulations require holiday pay to be paid at an employee’s normal rate of pay. In order to provide extra flexibility, where it is not reasonably practical for an employee to take some, or all, of the holiday to which they are entitled due to Covid-19, holiday can now be carried over into the next two leave years.

During this unprecedented time, the Government is keeping the policy on holiday pay under review.

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