Dhe European Court (ECJ) has strengthened the holiday entitlement of employees. The highest EU court decided in three cases from Germany that the entitlement to holiday does not expire in certain cases. The decisive factor is whether the employer has done his part and, for example, pointed out that the vacation will soon expire. The judges announced this on Thursday in Luxembourg. (C-120/21; C-518/20; C-727/20)
Two of the cases concerned sick leave entitlement. The plaintiffs contended that they were entitled to paid leave for the year in which they were incapacitated or unable to work for health reasons. According to German law, vacation entitlement normally lapses after 15 months in the event of illness. However, this only applies if the employer has enabled the employee to take his vacation in good time, according to the Luxembourg judges. In the third case, the plaintiff, according to her own statement, was unable to take her vacation due to the high workload and demanded compensation for the vacation days. Her employer argued that the claim was statute-barred due to the usual civil law statute of limitations of three years. According to the ECJ, the employer must also ensure in these cases that the employee can actually take his holiday entitlement.