sick pay and holiday entitlements

hi all

after having had two procedures and 6 weeks of radiotherapy I find I am recovering well and hope to return to work in the next few months. I work for local government, and have had my pay cut to half pay. I have found that the company is also using the half pay for bank holidays .I do not believe this should be happening, is this not discriminatory? also i have leave to carry over from last year I understand I lose my service days and can only carry over 4 weeks. I raised this with my team leader and suggested that before i return to work I would take all my leave , this years and last as I only have until the end of October this year to take it as my new leave year starts in November. he made the suggestion that the company would not allow this and also may well stop my service days for this year too, this would mean i lose 9 days leave again. Can this be correct losing service days for this year and also only paying me half pay for bank holidays?

  • Hello

    Thank you for your question. My name is Polly and I am a work support advisor on the Macmillan support line. It Is good to hear that you are recovering well from your treatment.

    Local government tends to have good sick pay and holiday policies. An employee can expect to receive six months full pay and six months half pay when they are ill.

    The minimum holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks can include bank and public holidays. There may be a right to pay or pay in lieu of bank holidays because of custom or practice in your workplace but there is no employment law right to be paid holiday pay for bank holidays. Whether you are entitled to be paid will depend on the terms of the contract of employment and any policies that are incorporated into the contract. Please check your contract and workplace polices.

    I suggest the following:

    When an employee is on sick leave, they are entitled to request holiday, including pay for bank holiday. This means they will receive the normal pay for the duration of their holiday, and they will not be subject to the rules of the sickness absence policy. In effect your sick leave will be paused, you will be put on holiday and your sick leave will be reinstated afterwards. Please see the ACAS website .

    Your manager may not be aware that you can request holiday when you are on sick leave. You need to follow the normal procedures for requesting holiday which requires giving the employer the correct notice. For example, if you request 10 days holiday then you will be required to give 20 days’ notice. The employer can refuse your holiday request, but they need to give a good reason and suggest alternative dates. Please see ACAS Website

    This is a way of ensuring that you don't lose your additional holiday of 1.6 weeks (or more) in any leave year and you can also carry over the four weeks holiday from one leave year to the next.

    This type of policy is not discriminatory because you are not being treated less favourably or unfavourably because of your cancer diagnosis. It is important to remember that cancer is a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010 (or the disability Discrimination Act 1995 if you live in Northern Ireland). Please have a look at our booklet “Your rights at work when you're affected by cancer”. The employer is under a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments to help you in work and they cannot discriminate against you because of the cancer. This booklet contains information about the different types of discrimination.  

    I suggest that you speak to our welfare rights team who can talk over any benefit entitlement you might have now you have been on sick leave for six months and your pay has dropped to half.

    They can be contacted on our support line number 0808 808 0000. To get through to the team you need to select option 1, then 2 and 2 again.


    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