Tuesday, June 26, 2012

European Court Says Getting Sick On Vacation Means You Get A Do-Over

As the eurozone collapses, a European court has  just ruled that workers who happen to fall ill while on vacation are legally entitled to get a do-over on their trip.

The decision came about after department store workers in Spain brought a case to Spanish court, where they won, arguing that collective bargaining agreements distinguish a clear line between annual leave and sick leave.

The National Association of Large Distribution Businesses then appealed to the Supreme Court in Madrid, which then handed the matter over to Europe's highest court, says NYT via The Consumerist.

"The purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure," the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled. "The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be unfit for work."

All 27 countries in the European Union will be held to the court's decision.

And, yet, they wonder why there are so few employers hiring in the EU?

(HT Dale Fitzgerald)


  1. I wonder if the requirement for sunny days during vacation will be the next entitlement, or maybe powder days for ski season. But then again, the lack of either would certainly cause depression, which I am sure is now already covered.

  2. When you subsidise anything - you get more of it:

    Subsidise mortgages - get more mortgages with higher house prices (until the bottom falls out).

    Subsidise student loans - get more student loans with higher tuition (until the bottom falls out)

    Subsidise unemployment - get more unemployment.

    Subsidise "health care" - get more, higher cost "health care"

    Subsidise "do overs" for vacations - what do we expect to happen?

  3. This ruling does not change much as it is already standard in most European countries, even in Switzerland.

  4. This is standard in Germany and it doesn't hurt employers. Employees have already paid for their sick leave many times over by the outrageous mandatory health care premiums. It does hurt healthy employees, though, by lowering their real wages.

  5. Currently, I work for the government (a local school district). All of the school district's collective bargaining agreements state that if an employee is on vacation and gets sick on vacation, that particular vacation day or days can then be categorized as a sick day or days.

    In other words, there is no such thing as PTO, for that would be too efficient.