Carrying Holiday Over

We explain everything you need to know about carrying holiday over

Naturally, COVID has changed how employees view holiday time off. Going on holiday used to mean travelling abroad for a lot of people, with employees booking off weeks at a time to enjoy different countries and cultures.

However, when no-one’s able to travel internationally, or holidays can rarely extend beyond an Airbnb booking in the next town over, employees are less likely to use their annual leave.

This leaves many employees with unused holidays days that they won’t want to lose. This raises the question of carrying holidays over to the following year.

Holiday carry-over is when employers allow their employee to add their leftover annual leave onto their next year’s entitlement. Full-time employees can typically transfer as much as eight days from their 28 days’ entitlement.

However, employers’ own holiday carry-over policies can be capped at less.

Ready to ditch the cluttered calendars? Managing holiday carry-over is a doddle with BrightHR’s holiday management tool.

Holiday carry-over in the UK

Amendments to the Working Time Regulations 1998 in 2020 states that holiday day can carry-over for two years.

Usually, carrying holiday over to the next year was only possible due to specific circumstances, such as illness.

These amendments to employment law with holiday carry-over state that employees can take two leave years immediately following the leave year in respect of which it was due.

These amendments relate to any leave year it was not reasonably practicable for an employee to take some or all of their leave. This holiday entitlement carry-over related to this regulation as a result of the effects of coronavirus.

This means that employees can carry-over holiday from year to year, if they have not taken holiday days due to coronavirus.

Previously, holiday carry-over law stated that employees could not carry untaken holiday entitlement to the following year.

The exception was if the employee could not take basic leave due to illness. This means that employees could take holiday carry-over when sick.

However, when an employee’s ill, they should use annual leave instead of sick pay. If they don’t wish to do so, they’ll only have entitlement to statutory sick pay.

The amendment changes this so that employees that feel they cannot take annual leave as they are required to stay home.

Carrying over holiday after maternity leave

Employees on maternity leave still accrue holiday days. This means that if they have been prevented from taking any or all of their holiday entitlement, it will carry-over to the following year.

This includes all or any of their 5.6 weeks' statutory holiday entitlement.

As this has the potential for an employee to accrue and entire years’ worth of holiday days, employers are advised to discuss this before maternity leave begins.

Compromises, such as beginning maternity leave after using some of the current years’ holiday days, may benefit both the employee and the employer.

Get help with carrying holiday over with BrightHR today

In light of changing circumstances and amendments to regulations, confusion can arise from how to carry holiday over from one year to the next.

With BrightHR, you can enter how many days a worker is carrying over, and this will add to their following year’s balance.

On the absence tab, you can clearly see how many days were carried over and how many are now available. It’s that simple.

Plus, for staff that work variable hours, it shows their balance and carry-over entitlement in hours instead of days.

Not a BrightHR customer? Get your free demo today to see how easy BrightHR makes managing holiday carry-over.


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