Changes to vacation leave regulations have been suspended just days after coming into effect, following uproar by employers’ associations. In a statement, the Equality Ministry said it would be suspending legal notices related to changes to work conditions and going back to the negotiating table “as a sign of goodwill”. The climbdown came hours after all four employer lobby groups announced a boycott of Employment Relations Board (ERB) meetings.
The revised system allowed annual leave allotment to continue to accrue even when employees were on maternity, sickness or injury leave and even when on unpaid leave. Furthermore, the new regulations stated that, once granted, leave could not be revoked under any circumstances whatsoever. Also, employers could only utilise up to 12 working days from the annual leave entitlement for the shutdown period.
The changes came into force through legal notices 371 and 374 of 2018 published on August 10.