European ruling 'is a threat to business productivity'

While Smarta is happy to agree attempting to buy Lemsip from a Majorcan pharmacy using only exaggerated facial expressions and frantic gesticulation to communicate is no-one’s idea of a great holiday, we’re finding it difficult to sympathise with a European Courts of Justice (ECJ) ruling which gives workers the right to claim days back from their employer if they fall ill during their annual leave.

The judgement came after a Spanish worker who was injured shortly before he was due to take a month’s leave but wasn’t allowed to reschedule his holiday took his case to court, where judges ruled on his behalf.

Experts, though, have warned the new system could be open to manipulation by workers who just want to extend their annual leave. Katja Hall, director of policy at employers’ organisation the CBI, said it was causing concern among businesses.

“Many firms already take a common sense and sympathetic approach. But allowing employees to re-classify their holiday as sick leave opens the door to abuse,” she said.

Sophie Kummer, a spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), added that it would have a particular effect on small businesses.

“We have to see how this plays out in England, but it could be an enormous blow to small businesses who don’t employ many people and whose employees then have to spend time catching up.

“Businesses could lose out on productivity.”

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