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Can employers take sick days out of holiday allocation?
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Can employers take sick days out of holiday allocation?

At my company, if we are sick we get this day deducted from our holiday allocation. I want to know if this is legal. Surely they would instead have to just give us unpaid sick leave, rather than take the number of days we’re sick out of our holiday leave?
Additional Details
Thank you for all your responses - they have been extremely helpful!

I should have noted that I am based in the UK.

I have checked my contract and there is no mention of having sick days taken out of holiday allocation. I think it's just 'something they have always done' without having made it a policy or checked whether it's legal.


No they cannot, it is totally illegal in the UK and most EU countries too, even if it is in your contract of employment, that contract would be deemed not to be enforceable because you cannot stipulate an illegal action in a contract of employment.
Getting them to change without you leaving might be a bit tricky though (if it is a small company that is).
Have a look on directgov.gov.uk for the contact numbers for advice, or ring the CAB they will be able to help.
Good luck

Chairman ALF
No it's NOT legal in the UK

i dont know if its legal but they shouldnt do it without asking you. perhaps they feel they are doing u a favour as you are getting paid for being sick. ask them about it. and ask if you can take "unpaid holiday leave" because then its not really a big problem as you are still able to take holidays.

Your company is trying to pull a fast one.
It should have a seperate policy for sick and one that states your holiday entitlement. Both should be a statement on your job offer/contract of employment.
Ask for clarification of both from your HR department, once you have these documents and if you find that your employer is not following its own written procedures place a grievance and ask for your holiday entitlement back.
acas will give you some advice.

In my husbands company the staff have the option to take it as unpaid sick leave or as a days holiday. This can't be done without the staff members consent.

Where are you? Laws can differ.

Many US companies give paid time off, which includes both sick and vacation time.

Vacation time isn't mandated in the US, so yes they can charge extra sick days against vacation time. Or they could just fire you for exceeding the allowable sick days.

Hell no! I wouldn't stand for that, that means you have less days to take as annual leave and they can't do it without you asking them to do so. I'd go the the Citizens Advice! Good Luck!

What does the company policy say? In Texas, there is no requirement for allowing for either sick leave or vacation leave. It is considered a benefit and is not automatically provided. Also, many companies just have "personal leave" you use it when you are sick or are on vacation.

Check your contract. Employers should not take sick days out of holiday, but if you signed something to say they could then you're scr*wed!

Unless of course they think you're just pulling a sickie, in which case I would take it out of your holiday. lol.

No it's not (in UK). Holiday entitlement is just that. You are right in that if you are off sick it should be unpaid sick leave. it is not at all connected to your holiday entitlement.
I would suggest consulting your local Citizens Advice or this site may help

They can only do this if it is in your contract. otherwise no they cannot.

I guess some company's would do that to discourage those people that would think about calling "sick" when they're not sick. I would think you have an argument on your hands if they didn't put that in your contract. If you signed one that is. Other wise I would argue it and if that doesn't work well what can I say... Let's hope you don't get sick!
I worked in various places and usually when I have a sick day I would tell my manager to swap it for one of my days off so I don't lose any hours.

Have a look at your contract if you have one. Hope you get it resolved!

Good luck!

In the U.S. - If the company policy is to do this, and it's in your handbook or posted where notices are normally posted, then it would be allowed. Company's can force employees to use up all accrued time first before allowing unpaid time off.

Keep in mind that paid time off for sick, vacation and holidays is not a legal requirement. The time off yes, but to be paid for it no. A number of company's do not allow for paid sick time any longer.

This is what my mr job does, we keep him as healthy as we can.....

Your employers can give you the option of taking sick leave as holiday instead, so that you would be paid, but they can not make it compulsory.

I would contact ACAS for advice - 08457 47 47 47.

Usually, companies should pay SSP if you're off sick. What does it outline in your contract? Did you sign your contract knowing this?

it is illegal, if you are sick it is classed as sick leave, the only way it is taken from holiday is if you ask it to be taken from your hols. some people ask to take it form there holidays because they dont get sick pay when of sick. speak to your manager and tell him you've taken legal advice.

i am coming up to being of work for 28 weeks my sick note goes past this period and my plce of work will stop paying me ssp i will have to claim esa from then on.i did go back to work but i had to go back on the sick does my employer have to pay any holiday pay that would be due to me with me not having any holidays this year

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