Article 7(1) of the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) (the Directive) provides that member states must ensure that every worker is entitled to at least four weeks of paid annual leave. Article 7(2) provides that a payment in lieu of annual leave may only be made on termination.
The Directive was implemented in the UK by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) (WTR 1998) which separates the Article 7 right to paid leave into two distinct regulations: regulation 13 sets out a worker’s leave entitlement and regulation 16 provides the right for a worker to be paid for that leave.
The enforcement and remedies provisions in regulation 30 also distinguish between claims where a worker has been denied the right to time off and claims where the worker has not been paid for the annual leave they have taken. The effect of this is that, for a worker to establish the right to paid leave, they must first take the leave and then bring a claim for unpaid wages for the leave taken.