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Package holiday protection scheme set for April launch – but certificates are delayed

New EU regulations due to come into effect mean that workers who become ill on holiday abroad will soon be able to claim back their holiday entitlement from their employers.

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Changes in EU law mean that if holidaymakers have their holidays ruined through illness and are able to produce a sick note, their employers will have to give them time off in lieu of the days they were ill.

The change will come into force in October this year – some companies already compensate employees who are ill while on holiday with extra time off, but the practice will become compulsory from this year.

The move may cost businesses more than £100m a year, however – and there are concerns that small businesses will not be able to afford to give staff time off in lieu of holidays ruined by illness.

Holiday Claims Expert Nick Harris of Simpson Millar solicitors said:

“This new law will have a significant and beneficial effect on people who fall ill while on holiday.

“Every year we assist hundreds of victims of food poisoning and other illnesses picked up abroad to recover compensation – this new law means that in addition to compensation, we will now also be able to claim back their lost holiday time, which is a very progressive development.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that the government would do all it could to minimise the burden on business.

The CBI has suggested that the UK government should delay introducing any changes in October, as discussions about the working time directive are still taking place in Brussels.

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Dated: 05/03/2012

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