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Change in case law on paid leave

The employee acquires paid holidays during sick leave, work-related accident, etc.

The French Supreme Court (Court de Cassation) has decided, on September 13th, 2023, to bring itself into line with European Law by issuing several rulings, which are not without consequences for the organization and management of paid leave within companies.

Three main points to be aware of:

  1. Employees who are in sick leave or work-related accident, will continue to be earning paid holidays while off work. 
  2. It lifts the one-year acquisition limit for employees on sick leave, following an accident at work or occupational disease. An employee on sick leave due to an accident at work can therefore continue to earn paid holidays beyond the previous one-year limit. 
  3. The Court has also modified the starting point of the limitation period for compensation for paid leave. Until now, this was set at the expiry of the legal or contractual period during which the leave could have been taken. The French Supreme Court has now clarified that this limitation period only begins to run if the employer has taken the necessary measures to enable the employee to effectively exercise its right to paid holidays.

What are the consequences for the companies?

From now on, employees can ask their employer to apply this new regulation, whether ti applied to future sick leave or to past and current sick leaves. If the employer refuses, employees can take their case to the Prud’hommes Council (Conseil des Prud’Hommes) to asset their rights.

The entire French Business Advice Human Resources and Employment Law team is here to help you with this, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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