A worker cannot automatically lose his acquired rights to paid annual leave because he did not apply for a leave

The Bulgarian legislation explicitly provides for lapse of the right of paid leave if the employee did not use his or her right within two (2) years as of the year, following the year when the right occurred.
With its judgement of 6 November 2018 in Cases C-619/16 and C-684/16 the Court decided that such rights may lapse only if the employer actually gave the worker the opportunity, in particular through the provision of adequate information, to take the leave days at issue in good time, which the employer must prove he has done. EU law precludes a worker from automatically losing the days of paid annual leave to which he was entitled under EU law and, consequently, his right to an allowance in lieu of the leave which is not taken, solely because he did not apply for leave before the employment relationship ended.

In the light of the Bulgarian legislation the CJEU’s judgement shall lead to an increase of the obligations of the employers, including to promptly inform the employees before the lapsing of their right to annual paid leave.

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