Businessman With His Luggage Outdoor In The FieldThere are various reasons for which you, as an employee, will be permitted to take time off work, often while still receiving pay. These reasons include:

  • Sickness: All employees are entitled to time off work due to sickness while receiving sick pay at either a legal minimum, or at a higher rate offered as part of a company sick pay scheme. More information on the requirements for receiving sick pay, what to do in the event of long term illness and company sick pay schemes can be found in our guide on Sickness Leave, Sick Pay and SSP.
  • Maternity/Paternity: Expectant parents are entitled to time off work in order to care for their child during and after pregnancy. Both the mother and father are entitled to time off, though of different lengths. 
  • Holiday: All workers in the UK are entitled to 5.6 weeks (equivalent to 28 days) paid leave each year, though it is important to note that legally there is no obligation for an employer to give an employee time off on Public or Bank Holidays. This is down to the discretion of the individual employer. 

Note that in your first year of employment you will only accrue holiday for the time that you work, so for example once you have worked one month you will have accrued 1/12th of your holiday entitlement.

More general information about each type of leave, including more on holiday allowances, what to do if leave appears to be unfairly distributed, and what to do if time off is needed for a medical gender reassignment procedure can be found in the following articles:

Using Holiday as Sick Leave:

If you book time off as holiday and fall ill before or during your holiday leave, you should let your employer know as soon as possible. They should allow you to schedule your holiday at another time. If you remain ill until the end of the holiday-leave year, you employer should also allow you to carry over any unused holiday into the following holiday-leave year. But, if you turn your holiday leave into sick leave, you will only be paid sick pay by your employer.

Using holiday during sick leave

If you have taken time off as sick leave and wish to go on holiday during that time, you are allowed to do so under the Working Time Regulations. You will still accrue holiday leave while you are off sick but you do not have to take it during that time. If you reach the end of the holiday-year and you still have not managed to use your holiday leave due to illness, you can carry over any unused holiday into the following holiday-leave year.

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