The House of Representatives recently passed a law amending the Paid Annual Leave Law, which effectively allows employees to benefit from paid annual leave from the first day of their employment.
It is well known that Section 8 of the Organisation of Working Time Law of 2002 (Law 63(I)/2002), which transposed Directive 93/104 into national legislation, sets the minimum period of annual leave at 4 weeks. Moreover, the Paid Annual Leave Law of 1967 (Law 8/1967) provides that the minimum period of annual leave an employee is entitled to is 20 days for employees working 5 days per week, and 24 days for employees working 6 days per week.
Nevertheless, prior to the abovementioned recent amendment, an employee could not qualify for paid annual leave unless they had already completed 13 weeks of employment at the same employer. It is worth noting that this provision was in direct conflict with Council Directive 93/104/EC concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time. The matter was examined by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in case C-173/99, which ruled that Member States were not allowed to ‘adopt national rules under which a worker does not begin to accrue rights to paid annual leave until he has completed a minimum period of 13 weeks' uninterrupted employment with the same employer.’
Therefore, with this amendment, from 13th April 2023, employees will be able to accrue annual leave from the first day of their employment and will be able to use it irrespective of the period of time during which they have been employed.