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Hairdresser's Journal


The subject of holidays, part timers and bank holidays is a persistent problem for salon owners. However these are only some of the problems encountered. Below I answer a range of questions relating to holidays and pay.

Q1 One of my stylists has now been off for almost 4 months and has asked if she accrues annual leave whilst she is off sick?

Can you confirm the position please? This situation has been to the European Court and the answer is that employees do accrue leave whilst off sick. An employee can ask to take annual leave whilst off sick ( this might be mutually beneficial as they are paid and they use up some leave and the holiday pay also counts towards your obligation to pay SSP for the week).

Q2 An employee has been off for 3 months and has contacted me to request 2 weeks paid holiday?

SSP is payable for 28 weeks to qualifying employees. This is almost the reverse of the question above. We know staff accrue leave whilst off sick and can take this leave when they return. .There is no reason why holiday pay cannot be paid but it isn’t on top of SSP If you do pay an employee holiday pay whilst off sick, the holiday period will still count towards the 28 weeks entitllement to SSP.

Q3 What happens if an employee is on 2 weeks leave and is sick Is their leave cancelled?

The simple answer is possibly!!!. The employee canreport they were in fact sick, of course if the absence was for more than 7 days they would require a medical certificate. You would then substitute sickness for holidays and the holidays would be added to their entitlement. I say possibly because in reality, in a salon environment I think this will only happen rarely. If the employee claimed they had been sick rather than being on holiday they would clearly have to refund the holiday pay and receive instead SSP.As the first 3 days are normally not paid I don’t envisage this will be an attractive option.

Q4 I am having a refit and will Be Closed For a Week –Can I Require The Staff To Take Annual Leave?

Employers are entitled to require workers to take annual leave. The rule is that they must give the employee twice the amount of notice as the duration of the leave. So if you wanted staff to take one weeks leave you must give 2 weeks’ notice .In reality I imagine this would create great unhappiness and you would give the maximum amount of leave possible. As an alternative you could allow staff to take unpaid leave or a mixture of paid and unpaid leave. Of course it is helpful to reinforce your right to do this by having a clause in your Contract.

Q5 Can an employee carry unused holiday entitlement over to the next holiday year?

This is normally a matter of the Contract, some employers say no, some may allow 1 week, some say with the approval of xxxxx. It is cleatr that holidays can be carried over in the case of maternity leave, long term sickness etc. In a case in 2015 an Employment Tribunal held where an employee chooses not to take statutory annual leave during sick leave, they can carry forward the untaken leave for up to 18 months from the end of the leave year in which the leave arises. This means that if a leave year ends on the 31st December the worker would have 18 months after that date in which to take the annual leave for that year.

David Wright Personnel

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