19 November 2020
By Elaine Murphy
This week Sinn Féin published the ‘Covid19 Carryover of Annual Leave Bill’ which seeks to give workers the legal right to carry over any leave which they could not take due to the effects of the Covid19 crisis into 2021 and/or 2022.
Cork East TD Pat Buckley said:
“Covid-19 has ripped through our society and economy and has wrought havoc on workers and families.
“Many workers, especially frontline and essential service workers such as suppliers, shop and supermarket workers, workers in food processing, nurses, doctors, Gardaí, and others, have been working around the clock since March to help us through the Covid19 crisis.
“Unfortunately, for many of these workers, this has meant they have been unable to use up all of their 2020 annual leave due to the workplace demands the pandemic has brought.
“As a result, countless workers could lose several days of annual leave once the year ends.
“It is for this reason that I have published the ‘Covid19 Carryover of Annual Leave Bill’ which seeks to allow workers to carry over annual leave from 2020 which they were unable to take due to effects of Covid19 on the worker, the employer, or the wider economy or society, and to use that leave in 2021 and/or 2022.
“There is no reason why our government should object to such a proposal given we have seen similar changes in Britain, where they have amended their working time legislation to allow workers carry over untaken leave due to Covid19 into the next 2 leave years.
“Workers have accrued their leave and they are entitled to it, and Sinn Féin want to ensure workers annual leave rights are preserved, and if they cannot take this leave in 2020, due to Covid19, that they have a legal right to carry it over into 2021 and/or 2022, when we will hopefully have a vaccine for this virus.”