Changes to Statutory Annual Leave

Carry over of annual leave to be relaxed


The Government announced on Friday that workers who have not been able to take all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to the Coronavirus will be able to carry it over into the next two leave years.

At present all workers are entitled to the minimum of 28 days holidays which include bank holidays each year. In the past this holiday entitlement could not be carried over into the next leave year, which effectively meant workers lost their holiday if they did not take it.

In addition to the inability of carrying over of annual leave, employers themselves were obligated to ensure that their workers did take their holiday entitlements.

What has changed?

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma has confirmed that the regulations permitting statutory entitlement will now be relaxed in order to allow up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried over into the next two leave years. The purpose of this relaxation is to ensure that workers do not lose out and that enough staff in key areas of the economy can be retained whilst efforts continue to combat the Coronavirus.

This new change will see an amendment to the Working Time Regulations 1998 which covers the rules surrounding daily, week rest breaks and paid statutory annual leave.

Who will be impacted by these changes?

As the changes will be in the Working Time Regulations this should see nearly all workers covered from employees to agency staff and those on zero-hour contracts.

What has been the reaction to these amendments?

Most have agreed that the relaxation of these rules is both a fair and sensible measure, particularly as key workers have been asked to work overtime and cancel holidays during the outbreak.


If you have any queries relating to your holiday entitlements and rights during the Coronavirus outbreak, then do not hesitate to contact us on 01582 853 785.


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