Annual Leave During Sick Leave
This arose in a claim under the Organisation of Working Time Act in ADJ00017947. The employee had an accident in 2017. As a result of this the employee required knee surgery. As the surgery is expensive in Ireland the employee opted to return to Poland to have the surgery performed in that jurisdiction. The Adjudication Officer held that the employer was aware of the reason for the journey and agreed that it would leave his position open for his return. The employer asserted that the agreement reached between the parties was some form of unpaid leave of absence and therefore should not be considered sick leave for the purposes of the Organisation of Working Time Act and on that basis annual leave could not accrue. The Adjudication Officer held that the employer was bound by Section 19 of the Organisation of Working Time Act (Section 1A) which provides that where an employee is absent from work by reason of certified illness then annual leave continues to accrue as if the employee was at the place of work and at the employees disposal. This is a very useful restatement of the law by an Adjudication Officer. To be fair this is probably the first time we have heard this argument arise that an employee who went to get treatment would be excluded from the Act. It is useful that the Adjudication Officer has given such a comprehensive decision on this issue.
*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.
**In contentious cases, a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a portion or percentage of any award of settlement.