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Use it or lose it does not apply to workers

In two recent German cases, the Working Time Directive(WTD), was interpreted by the European Court of Justice on the basis that a worker does not automatically lose their accrued but untaken holiday entitlement at the end of relevant period.


However, the WTD does allow the loss of holiday entitlement if the employer can show it enabled the worker by providing sufficient information, to take their holiday entitlement before the end of the relevant period. Also, if a worker has not lost their holidays, accordingly they are entitled to pay in lieu of entitlement on termination.


There is still no UK case law to date on this subject, so it will be interesting to see whether these decisions generate UK litigation and how the courts will interrupt it. For employers, they are being encouraged to take reasonable and sufficient steps to promote workers to take their leave.