Can employees receive Sick Pay and Holiday Pay at the same time?
In essence, no. Employees cannot get sick pay and holiday pay at the same time.
Taking holiday while off sick
An employee can take holiday (annual leave) while off sick. For example, if they:
are not physically able to work, but physically able to take a holiday
have a mental health condition that might be helped by a holiday
are off sick long term and a holiday may assist their recovery
It’s up to employees to request holiday while off sick. An employer cannot force an employee to take holiday while off sick.
If an employer approves an employee’s holiday request:
sick leave can be paused while the employee takes holiday
the employee should get holiday pay while they are on holiday
After the employee has taken the holiday, sick leave can continue if they’re still not well enough to return to work.
What if an employee is sick on holiday?
An employee must report their sickness to their employer in the usual way, if they want to take any holiday as sick leave.
In this case the employee can:
get sick pay for the time they were sick (as long as they are entitled to sick pay)
keep the time they were sick to use as holiday another time
Accrual of holiday when off sick
Employees accrue (‘build up’) holiday as normal while they are off sick.
Employers should check the employment contract, or any written policy, or rules on how your organisation pays for holiday and sick leave and apply them accordingly.
Long-term sick leave and carry over
If someone has not been able to use their holiday because they’ve been on long-term sick leave, they can carry it over.
Employees on long-term sick leave can carry over 4 weeks’ unused holiday, unless the employer allows more to be carried over. This holiday must be used within 18 months from the date it is carried over.
What happens when sick pay runs out
Employees will build up paid holiday if they’re off sick, even if they’re not getting sick pay.
If someone’s sick pay runs out, they may be eligible for benefits from the government. Advice can be sought from the Citizens Advice website.
What happens to the employee’s job when sick pay expires?
Even if sick pay runs out, there’s still an employment contract between the employer and the employee.
The employee should continue:
to report their sickness to the employer
follow the employer’s rules for sickness reporting
The employer should:
keep in touch with the employee while they’re off
be clear about sick pay entitlement and when it’s due to run out
If sickness is affecting an employee’s ability to do their job, the employer may decide to review the situation.
This can help the employer plan:
how to cover the work while the employee is off sick
any support or adjustments that might help the employee return to work
the employee’s return, once they’re well enough
what happens to the job if the employee is unable to return
For more information on how we can provide you with practical HR support on this, or any other HR issue, contact us on 07762 629448, or click here.
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