Is An Employee Who Is Off On Maternity Leave Permitted To Carry Over Her Accrued But Untaken Annual Leave?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 2 March 2021
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Working Time and Holidays; Maternity Leave; Discrimination and Equality

An employee who is on maternity leave and therefore cannot use annual leave must be permitted to take her full holiday entitlement outside her maternity leave period. This was confirmed by the European Court of Justice in Merino Gomez v Continental Industrias del Caucho SA (C342/01) [2005] ICR 1040.

A woman's contractual terms (except those relating to remuneration) continue during periods of ordinary maternity leave and additional maternity leave. This means that women on maternity leave continue to accrue statutory annual leave entitlement under regulations 15 and 16 of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (equating to 5.6 weeks for a full-time employee) along with any

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 24/03/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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