The issue of whether annual leave can be accrued by employees on long-term sick leave has been resolved by the commencement of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 s. 86 on 1 August 2015. This section, which amends the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, provides the following:
- Statutory annual leave entitlement accrues during a period of certified sick leave.
- An annual leave carryover period of 15 months after a leave year will apply to those employees who could not, due to illness, take annual leave during the relevant leave year or during the normal carryover period of six months; and
- On termination of employment, payment in lieu of untaken accrued annual leave will apply to leave which was untaken as a result of illness in circumstances where the employee leaves the employment within a period of 15 months following the end of the leave year during which the statutory leave entitlement accrued.