Untaken Annual Leave-Is a Policy of ‘Use it or Lose it’ Lawful?

„Use it or lose it” is a policy adopted by a great number of employers in respect of annual leave. But are they legally entitled to do so?

Two recent decisions from EU law clarifies the position.

In Kreuziger v Land Berlin the employee, Mr. Kreuziger, a legal trainee, never took annual leave. When his traineeship came to an end he sought payment in lieu of the leave he had not taken. Land Berlin refused this request and Mr. Kreuziger took legal proceedings in the German Courts.

A similar case came before the German courts in Max Planck v Shimizu. The employee had accumulated 51 days annual leave over a 2 year period and requested that he be paid for this untaken leave when his employment ended.

The German Courts referred the issue to the European Courts in the form of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and asked the question whether an employee who fails to take annual leave is entitled to be paid in lieu of the leave foregone, even in a situation where there was nothing preventing the employee from taking the leave.

Read the rest of this blog post here.

Kind Regards
Terry Gorry


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