At this time of year and with summer coming up, some employees will take the opportunity for a well-earned break. But what happens if an employee falls ill before or during their holiday leave? What are the employee’s rights and what does this mean for you as the employer? Here we run through some of the most important things to keep an eye on.
An employee’s right to cancel leave
Holiday leave is time that an employee has accrued and is designed to be used for relaxation and to focus on things other than work. If an employee falls ill or is signed off, they are entitled to cancel their leave and take it at another time because they are unable to do what they planned on holiday. According to §15 of Sweden’s Annual Leave Act, an employee is entitled to have the corresponding holiday leave considered as sick leave (under the same terms that apply for sick leave during standard working hours). If your company is party to a collective agreement, the rules in the collective agreement take precedence over the Annual Leave Act.
If an employee’s child falls ill during holiday leave
If, instead, an employee’s child falls ill, the lost holiday leave can be exchanged for temporary parental benefit. In this case, the employee has to inform you that they intend to exchange their holiday leave for time off to care for their child and contact the government agency Försäkringskassan.
What happens if an employee cancels their holiday leave
The employee must inform you, the employer, without delay if they have fallen ill during their leave. The term “without delay” can vary in meaning, in many cases it means the employee has to notify you immediately when they fall ill. There is usually a company policy covering this, but in some cases it is also regulated in collective agreements. As an employer, you can ask your employee to demonstrate the reasons why the holiday leave was cancelled, it is customary for these reasons to meet the terms for receiving sick pay.
The company pays the employee compensation for illness during their holiday leave in the same way as sick leave is paid during standard working hours. The structure of the compensation can vary from company to company, but generally the following applies:
- The first sick day is a qualifying day.
- On days 2-14, your company pays the employee sick pay.
- After 14 days, the employee has to apply for sick pay from Försäkringskassan.