What has changed?
Under the normal Regulations, employers are required to ensure that the minimum leave under the Working Time Directive of four weeks is taken in the leave year it relates to. This is important to ensure workers and employees get enough rest and remain healthy, both physically and mentally.
The amendment known as the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 amends the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 and allows for annual leave of up to four weeks (pro rata for part time staff) to be carried over into the next two leave years. This legislation reflects changes already in place in Great Britain.
In proposing the change in legislation Minister Diane Dodds noted that the amendment applies only to circumstances where workers are unable to take their leave as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
NI legislation amended allowing carry over of annual leave