News article

Coronavirus: Rules on carrying over annual leave relaxed

24 April 2020


Legislation has been amended to allow workers in Northern Ireland to carry over annual leave into the next two leave years

Workers in Northern Ireland who are unable to take holiday leave as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak will be able to carry over their annual leave to the next two leave years.

This will allow businesses under particular pressure from the impacts of COVID-19 the flexibility to better manage their workforce while protecting workers’ right to paid holiday. It brings Northern Ireland in line with changes made in Great Britain.

Almost all workers in Northern Ireland are entitled to 5.6 weeks or 28 days of holiday each year. The additional annual leave carry over arrangements introduced by the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 apply to four weeks of this annual leave entitlement. The additional 1.6 weeks of annual leave can already be carried forward one year by agreement between workers and employers.

Informal consultations have been carried out with core stakeholders, such as industry representatives and trade union bodies.

See holiday entitlement and statutory holiday pay.


First published 31 March 2020