A recent ECJ decision has confirmed that if a worker has accrued but untaken statutory annual leave entitlement at the time of their death then the estate is entitled to payment in lieu in respect of untaken holiday. The right does not die with the employee.
The ECJ in the case of Bollacke v K + K Klaas & Kock B.V and Co stated that where the employment relationship ends because of a worker’s death a payment in lieu is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the entitlement to be paid annual leave. Of course, if the employee left employment for any other reason they would be entitled to payment for the accrued but untaken statutory leave so the decision follows logic.
Employers are free to contract otherwise in respect of any additional holiday in excess of the statutory entitlement but the position on statutory holiday is now clear.