European Court of Justice strengthens employees‘ vacation rights 07 November 2022 | Peters Legal

Forfeiture and limitation of vacation claims only with prior notice by the employer


In two recent decisions, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on 22 Sep 2022 that vacation entitlements only expire or become time-barred if the employer has previously advised the employee to take his/her remaining vacation in the current vacation year, as it may otherwise expire or become time-barred. The notice must be adjusted to the individual employee. In practice, these requirements of the ECJ will lead to additional administrative work for employers.

Even after the ECJ’s decision, the exact content and timing of such a notice are still unclear and will presumably not be defined until December of this year; however, we would like to provide you with a practical guide based on the latest findings.

You should inform your employees once a calendar year about their open vacation entitlement and possible forfeiture. The information must be adjusted to the individual employee and should be provided at the beginning of the second half of the calendar year. In order to be able to prove that you have properly issued the required notice in the event of a dispute, you should draw it up in text or written form.

Please find enclosed a sample of an appropriate notification letter. We will of course keep you informed of further developments and then provide you with a correspondingly updated sample.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.


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