Written By: Christian Zeller – German Attorney at Law
WINHELLER Attorneys at Law
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Not only employees, but also officials are entitled to financial compensation in lieu of a vacation, which they could not take due to illness. For this reason, the European Court of Justice extends its case law regarding vacation law to the public law sector.
The plaintiff of the main proceedings was in recent years, before reaching retirement age, not able to perform his service and take his vacation due to illness. The judges confirmed the entitlement to payment in lieu of the lost enjoyment of a vacation in the amount of at least 17,000 Euro gross. If such an entitlement to compensation was previously alien to German civil service law, then it must be
derived as of now from EU Directive 2003/88, which according to the judgment also applies to officials. It applies both to the four-week minimum annual vacation as well as to the vacation days going beyond that.
NOTE: According to this decision, it also appears advisable for public employers to regulate minimum and additional vacations separately. This is recommended particularly with a view to expiration dates for which the European Court of Justice requires a differentiated, graduated system.
European Court of Justice, Judgment of May 3, 2012, Case C-337/10.