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Q: Can an employee who is off work due to work related stress and going through the grievance procedure continue with a pre booked holiday? A: Yes, they can. The same rule applies for all employees who on sick leave and have booked annual leave. The employee could either decide to cancel the holiday and the absence is recorded as sickness or they can continue with the holiday itself. By being unfit for work it means the individual is not fit to come into the work place butthey may well be able to continue with a pre booked holiday. If the individual cancelled the holiday they would then have been entitled to carry over their holiday, even when the Company policy is not to allow staff to carry over holiday to the next year. Working Time Directive states employees have the right to at least 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave, even if this coincides with sickness absence. In this instance as the employee has instigated the grievance procedure, the employer would need to establish if the holiday meant the employee is not contactable or unavailable and therefore this would presumably affect timescales within the grievance procedure itself. It is therefore advisable to have an agreement in place from the employee that the employer may not be able to adhere to the timescales within the grievance procedure because of the employee’s pending holiday. Apart from this, the grievance procedure should be followed as normal.

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