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Employees on layoff also have the right to take annual leave

As spring draws to a close, many companies resorting to layoffs inevitably find these overlapping with the summer holiday season. The summer holiday period defined by the Annual Holidays Act begins after May Day in May and ends at the end of September.

An employer must ensure that leave is actually taken during this period. The employer decides on the placement of the leave after consulting with the employees.

The Annual Holidays Act allows some flexibility in the timing of leave if the parties agree. Therefore, leave can also be granted later than the official summer holiday period based on mutual agreement.

The general rule is that leave is granted as a continuous period. A possible part-time layoff does not affect the granting of annual leave. Thus, the person is on leave during the period designated by the employer and receives holiday pay for this period.

From the perspective of the Annual Holidays Act, layoffs affect the accrual of leave. Generally, unpaid time is not considered in the calculation of leave accrual. If a person is fully laid off, the first 30 days of the layoff are considered equivalent to working days in terms of leave accrual. If a part-time layoff is implemented by reducing the workweek or a similar arrangement, the first six months of the layoff period are considered equivalent to working days.

During annual leave, leave continues to accrue even if the leave is taken during a layoff that started before the annual leave.

Typically, during a layoff, a person has the right to terminate their employment without a notice period. However, this right does not apply seven days before a known end date of the layoff. If an employer terminates an employment contract during a layoff, the employee is entitled to receive their notice period salary. If the layoff has lasted continuously for over 200 days, the same right applies when the employee terminates their employment. This point also notes that the right to end employment without a notice period does not apply seven days before work resumes.

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