annual leave entitlement

What a month March has been! With the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold across the UK and globally, we’ve seen the UK government responding to the crisis by imposing increasingly restrictive limits on our activities, closing schools and workplaces, introducing emergency legislation within days, and announcing unprecedented levels of financial support. With updates and developments happening daily, it can be hard to keep up. So here’s a roundup of where we are, as at 1 April 2020, in respect of key COVID-19 issues affecting the workplace.

Workplace closures

On 20 March 2020, the prime minister announced that certain businesses (pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, gyms, casinos, leisure centres, etc.) should close, and within days this was extended to businesses that were not providing essential services.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 26 March 2020 detailing, specifically, which businesses must close (schedule 2), which can remain open (any business not listed in schedule 2), and which can remain open with limitations (schedule 1). This legislation will be reviewed every 21 days, with the first review due by 15 April 2020. Businesses failing to comply with this legislation face prosecution and fines.Continue Reading Coronavirus (COVID-19) monthly round up as at 1 April 2020

Whilst the current COVID-19 pandemic has seen many businesses and industries suffer a significant downturn in work, for others the situation is reversed. Against this background, the UK government has announced further emergency legislation to relax the rules around the taking of annual leave.

Under normal principles in the Working Time Regulations 1998 (the WTR), annual leave entitlement must be taken in the holiday year to which it relates, with carry-over permitted in only very limited circumstances. However, with so many employees working to support the nation in the fight against the virus, the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 have been passed to amend the WTR.Continue Reading COVID-19 response: Changes to annual leave carry-over