Some of you may have this latest gem in the news, I've linked the Guardians article but it has been everywhere the past few days http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/sep/15/holiday-sickness so there are many other sources.
This is relating to a ruling in the European Court that allows employees to claim back holiday if they are ill. So if you take 2 weeks holiday and are ‘ill’ for 2 days your employer has to credit them back, on full pay of course because SSP doesn’t kick in until 4 days consecutive sickness. Various bodies have weighed in on this from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personal Development) saying this policy is “divorced from the real world”, to Unison (the biggest public sector union) saying “if employees are ill, then they obviously not enjoying their holiday”.
So the CIPD think it’s the end of the world and Unison think it’s nothing to get all worked up about. Call me old fashioned but if you’re ill during your holiday isn't that just bad luck?
There is also nothing specifying when employees should notify their employer of this illness or what proof is required. To quote a Partner at Law Firm Eversheds "The danger of abuse is clear – an employee could increase his or her holiday entitlement by ensuring that in most years they alleged they were sick while on holiday”. I think this is the main point really because from what I see the vast majority of people have a sense of decency, honour and fair play but how long is this going to remain in place one 1 bad apple starts ‘playing the system’?
If everyone has 25 days holiday entitlement yet Bob from Accounts and Jenny from Sales are taking 30 days because they were ‘ill’ for 5 days. How long is the office environment going to remain harmonious? My guess is not very long!
As far as I can see this is going to affect small to medium businesses, the back bone of UK tax contributions and employment, because they rely on smaller pools of staff and greater team cohesion. They can’t afford to offer more holiday, or the admin that comes with policing a new system.
In times of economic uncertainty in Europe shouldn’t we be removing obstacles to trade and good business practice rather than adding to them?