Hi. I’ve just finished a ten week phased return program and I am now back at work full time. I was diagnosed with Lymphoma in November and I was away from work for 28 weeks after which I started my phased return. I had only just started with the company as a full time design engineer in October last year so it was a bit of a shock to all that I was on sick leave so soon. However , the company dealt with me fairly and kept my position open. The question I have for you is about holiday entitlement, especially on phased return. I received an email today saying that I was entitled to 4 days from last year, 2 days (pro rata) from my 10 weeks phased return because I only worked part time and 16 days for the remaining 42 weeks of this year, 2019. I would have thought that my full entitlement would accrue whilst I was on phased return. I have a meeting on Monday with the manager to sort this out. Can you give me some advice as to my rights please.
Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us with your question relating to your holiday entitlement.
I am really pleased to hear that your company dealt with you fairly and kept your position open for you following your time off for treatment. It may be useful to know that as you have a cancer diagnosis you are considered to have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 or Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). This means your employer should not discriminate against you because of your cancer. Your employer is also under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you at work. This protection is lifelong and does not depend on an active cancer diagnosis.
I have attached a link our booklet “Your Rights at Work’”, which explains more about the Equality Act and how you are protected in the workplace.
With regards to your holiday entitlement Statutory holiday entitlement is built up (accrued) while an employee is off work sick no matter how long they are off. The statutory holiday entitlement in the UK is 5.6 weeks per year. Your contract of employment should provide details on your holiday entitlement. As the phased return to work is an amendment to your hours and not a contractual change, your holiday entitlement should continue to accrue as stated in your contract.
Any statutory holiday entitlement that is not used because of illness can be carried over into the next leave year. This is a maximum of 4 weeks (20 days) pro-rata if you are part-time. If you carry over your statutory holiday of 4 weeks, this will expire 18 months after the end of the leave year in which it was accrued.
I hope you find this information helpful to your situation if you need further support please do not hesitate to contact us back.
Work Support Advisor
Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.
Thank you Su, that’s really helpful. I’ve a meeting with a manager on Monday and this will come in very useful. I don’t expect a battle over this, but we are a small firm and I don’t think this gas happened before.
can you resend the ‘Rights at work’ booklet please. The link goes to a page that say ‘booklet not available ‘
I have reattached a link our booklet “Your Rights at Work’”, which explains more about the Equality Act and how you are protected in the workplace.
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