According to an opinion by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), anyone who has to spend their vacation in corona quarantine has no right to make up for the days off. Advocate General Priit Pikamäe said in his Opinion in Luxembourg that the quality of vacation could be significantly reduced by the quarantine.

However, the employer only has to ensure that you can take your paid vacation to relax. There is no right that the holiday actually provides relaxation. The judges at the ECJ often follow the Advocate General’s assessment, but not always. A decision is expected in a few months.

The background is a case from Germany

An employee of a savings bank wanted to take vacation in December 2020. However, he had to be in quarantine the day before he started because he had contact with a corona-positive person at work. He demands a credit for his vacation days, but the Sparkasse refused.

The Advocate General took a similar view. In contrast to illness on vacation – where you have the right to be able to make up for the days off – employees in quarantine theoretically remained able to work and could recover. The quarantine only affects the conditions under which you can spend your free time, especially since the ideas of relaxation are very subjective.

However, EU countries could also make regulations that are more favorable for employees. In Germany, a new regulation of the Infection Protection Act from September 2022 provides that officially ordered quarantine periods are not counted towards the holiday. For earlier times, i.e. most of the Corona period, this has not yet applied retrospectively.