I work for the NHS and I have been on long term sick leave since the birth of my second child due to complications arising from the birth. My entitlement to SSP ended at the end of April 2014 and so I requested to take annual leave in May 2014 (to maintain some income). My request was denied for the following reason: “If you can take holidays then you must be fit to return to work – what date are you intending to return?” As of yet though, I do not have a return to work date. So my question is, are the NHS correct in not allowing me to take my accrued holidays after the end of my SSP, and is there anything I can do to challenge this?
Someone on long term sick leave is entitled to accrue and take holiday while on leave – the same as with maternity leave.
So your employer is not correct here – in fact they should be pleased that you are taking your leave entitlement while sick instead of after you are fit to return.
Taking the paid entitlement does not mean you are engaging in holiday activities, it just means you are taking paid leave that you are entitled to. You can definitely challenge this and point out that you will still be at home sick and that when you return you will actually have more days at work as you will have less accrued holiday to take, so it is in fact to their benefit if you do this.