Rules Concerning Holiday
Learn more about the Danish Holiday Act and your rights in relation to earning and taking holiday time. What should I be aware of if I am new to the labour market? What do I do if I become ill during my holiday?
Rules concerning your holiday - summarized
The rules concerning holiday can be complicated. Do you know you earn days of holiday and when you may take a holiday or save it for later? Get a quick answer of the most common questions asked about holidays or read more of the details below.
You will accrue 25 holiday days per year, regardless of whether you are employed on a part-time or full-time basis. Holiday days provided for by the collective agreement and care days are added to this.
You will have paid holiday or receive a holiday allowance, if you have chosen this.
You will accrue entitlement to 2.08 days of paid holiday for each month of employment. For employment periods of less than one month, you will accrue the right to 0.07 days of paid holiday per day.
You can take the holiday you have accrued from the month after you have accrued it.
As a general rule, you will accrue paid leave while you are employed and for periods of absence where you will receive full or partial pay in cases of, e.g.:
- maternity/paternity leave with pay
- full maternity/paternity leave without pay but with pension contributions paid by your employer
- child's first sick day
- released from duties and suspension
As a part-time employee, you will accrue holiday in the same way as a full-time employee. You are entitled to 25 days of paid leave in a holiday year if you have been employed throughout the entire holiday qualifying year.
When you take holiday, a proportionate number of work-free days in relation to the volume of your employment are included in the holiday. In other words, your holiday is taken at the same rate as you when you work and generally with the same salary.
Example: 25 days of holiday. You only work every second week. You will use up 10 days of your holiday when you take 2 weeks of holiday, as your free week is also included in the holiday.
If you are a trainee or a newly qualified finance economist in preliminary training, you are entitled to five weeks of paid holiday in the first and second whole holiday leave periods after you were employed.
You are also entitled to paid leave in the year you join the company. The amount of holiday leave depends on when you begin your employment:
Accruement of holiday as a trainee
September, October or November
25 days of holiday
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 7 days of holiday before the main holiday period
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 6 days of holiday before the main holiday period
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 5 days of holiday before the main holiday period
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 4 days of holiday before the main holiday period
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 3 days of holiday before the main holiday period
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 2 days of holiday before the main holiday period
15 days of main holiday (summer holiday) + 1 day of holiday before the main holiday period
Holiday days that were accrued in your period of training, but which will be taken during a new appointment with another financial company, must be taken with the salary paid at the time of the holiday. This means that your accrued holiday will be carried over into your new employment relationship, and your new employer must pay the “high” salary during your holiday.
Taking Holidays and Notice of Holidays
You must take your main holiday during the main holiday period between 1 May and 30 September. You are entitled to at least 15 consecutive holiday days during the main holiday period – unless you would like to take your holiday in another manner.
The holiday leave starts at the start of working hours on the first day of holiday and terminates at the end of working hours on the last day of holiday.
The remaining two weeks of holiday is called ‘other holiday’ or ‘remaining holiday’. You may take the remaining holiday whenever you like within the holiday year. Generally, you have the right to take the remaining holiday in a consecutive period of at least five days, but the periods may be shortened if this is necessary for the operation of the workplace or if you and your employer agree to it.
Your employer must - taking into account the operation of the company - comply with your requests for taking holiday insofar as possible. Your employer has a reinforced obligation to comply with your request if you would like to take the main holiday during your child's school summer holiday. However, circumstances in the company's operation may still prevent your request from being met - e.g. the necessity of maintaining minimum staffing levels.
If it is your main holiday, you must give notice of this at least three months before it begins, and if it is another holiday, you must give notice one month before it begins, unless exceptional circumstances prevent this.
Your own illness is considered an obstacle to taking holiday time. Read more about this under the section on “Illness in connection with holiday”.
If you have not taken all of your holiday days during the holiday leave period (i.e. before 31 December), you have the option of concluding an agreement with your employer on transferring your holiday days that excess 20 to the next holiday leave period.
Holiday that you have not taken due to special circumstances, such as illness or maternity/paternity leave, may also be taken during the following holiday year. It is a requirement that you have obstacles to taking a holiday all the way until the end of the holiday year on 31 December.
According to the Danish Holiday Act, in principle, there is no limit on the amount of times that holidays in excess of 20 days per year can be transferred. For example, you and your employer may agree to transfer one week's accrued holiday for 10 consecutive years. There are, however, some companies who lay down rules for how much holiday may be accrued.
You should also be aware that you and your employer must conclude a written agreement if you would like to transfer your holiday. Such an agreement must be concluded before 31 January after the expiry of the holiday leave period.
If you are an insurance agent, you should be aware that it is only possible to transfer the fifth holiday week if a local agreement for the transfer of holiday has been made in your company.
You can also agree with your employer that you will be paid for the holidays instead of taking holiday for holiday in excess of the first four weeks.
As an employee, you are entitled to three weeks' consecutive holiday each year. At most workplaces, holidays are planned and approved by the employer several months in advance. Your holiday cannot be changed once it has been approved.
That is in any case the overriding general rule.
In the case of force majeure or a similar situation, your employer may move a holiday that you have already planned. It is not enough that several employees in the department are ill, or that some of your colleagues have resigned or are on maternity/paternity leave. Whether the situation is SO special that your holiday may be moved or cancelled is always down to a specific assessment. Should such a situation arise, your employer must compensate any financial loss you may incur due to your holiday being moved. This may be by covering the costs for a holiday you have already paid for, holiday home rental or similar costs that cannot be refunded.
We recommend that when you agree on a new date for your holiday, you should also agree on the extent to which your employer will compensate you for any loss.
Just as your employer cannot unilaterally move your holiday, you are not entitled to have your holiday moved after the date has been agreed.
However, you and your employer can always reach an agreement on changing the date of your holiday if it is suitable for both of you. You must simply ensure that you conclude a clear agreement on what the change involves.
If you wish to take your holiday during the period of notice, you may take the holiday if you have planned or agreed this with your employer. Special rules apply if you do not wish to take your holiday during a period of notice in which your employer has dismissed you.
Planned holiday must be taken during the period of notice if you have resigned. Generally, this also applies if you are dismissed by your employer, unless the holiday is the main holiday (three weeks) and your period of notice is three months or less. It may also be requested that you take your holiday according to the notices laid down by the Danish Holiday Act. The notices are three months for the main holiday and one month for other holidays.
If you are terminated during the period of 1 September - 31 January and resign no later than 30 April, you may only be required to take the residual holiday – this applies regardless of the length of your notice period.
You cannot be required to take transferred holiday days during the notice period, unless an agreement was concluded about when the holiday should be taken at the time when the holiday was transferred. The Danish Employers’ Association for the Financial Sector and Finansforbundet agree that:
- in cases where a specific agreement has been concluded on when the transferred holiday days will be taken and where the holiday lies within the period of notice, the transferred holiday shall be considered as taken
- where the date for the holiday to be taken has not been agreed, or the agreed date for taking the holiday is after the date of resignation/dismissal, the transferred holiday shall not be considered as taken and the value of the holiday days shall be paid out together with the last monthly salary.
The interpretation also applies if you have been released from your duties. In the event that you are released from your duties, your release from notice shall be considered as an automatic obligation for you to take as much holiday as possible according to the rules concerning notice.
You will normally be unable take holiday if you are suspended.
You will retain the right to paid leave even though you resign. In the event of your resignation, your employer must calculate how many holiday days you are owed and calculate your holiday allowance for these days. Any additional holiday bonus you may have must also be paid out when you resign.
Your employer must transfer the holiday allowance to a holiday request form scheme or FerieKonto, while the holiday bonus will be paid to you in cash. You will also be paid out for any transferred holiday days that you have not taken.
Once your employer has reported/paid in your holiday pay to either the holiday request form scheme or borger.dk you will be able see a statement of the amount and the number of holiday days at Feriepengeinfo.dk (in Danish).
You request payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday on borger.dk.
Pay, Bonus and Unemployment Benefits During Holiday
Pursuant to the Danish Holiday Act, your employer must calculate payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday and the holiday bonus of your holiday qualifying pay, which includes any salary amount that is subject to income tax:
- your personal gross salary
- own contribution to pension scheme
- any performance-related pay
- additional and overtime payment
- the tax value of employee benefits, e.g. company car
Before you calculate your holiday qualifying pay, you must deduct the salary that was paid during the holiday, as well as the cash holiday bonus if it was included in the gross salary. The holiday bonus is calculated in the same manner.
If you have not accrued entitlement to paid leave, your employer will deduct 7.4 hours' pay for each holiday taken.
If you are a part-time employee, the pay will be deducted according to the terms you were employed under.
In general terms, you are entitled to your usual salary when you take a holiday.
However, if you work more or fewer hours, it will affect the payment you receive during your holiday. In those cases, the pay you receive during you holiday will correspond to the salary you received at the time when the holiday was accrued.
When the holiday days you accrued at a time when you worked either less or more hours are taken, the pay rate must be adjusted to reflect the salary you received at the time when the holiday was accrued.
You can be paid salary instead of taking holiday if you have accrued holiday days in excess of 20 days. This means that you can “convert” the fifth holiday week into money if you choose not to take the holiday or do not conclude an agreement with your employer on having the holiday transferred. Your employer must pay the money immediately after the end of the holiday leave period (31 December). You can also agree with your employer that you receive the money already after the end of the holiday year (31 August).
If you have not been employed by the same employer throughout the holiday year, you must prepare a statement in which you solemnly declare that the payment concerns holiday in excess of 4 weeks. Your employer is obliged to save the declaration in accordance with the provisions of the Danish Bookkeeping Act.
You have the option - without limitation regarding the number of days - to receive payments in lieu of holidays accrued with a former employer where the employment relationship ended no later than 31 December (expiry of the holiday leave period). It is a condition, however, that you have not received any public benefits during the holiday leave period, except for maternity/paternity and sickness benefits.
In order to receive holiday pay you must use a form, which is available at Lifeindenmark.dk. FerieKonto or the issuer of the holiday request form must receive the form by 30 September after the holiday leave period has expired. Otherwise, you will lose the right to receive payment.
If you are prevented from taking holiday, you also have the option of receiving payment for the fifth holiday week, but only if the holiday obstacle lasts until the end of the holiday leave period (31 December in the year following the start of the holiday year). Holiday obstacles are:
- own illness
- maternity/paternity leave if you have not partially resumed work
- leave for adoption if you have not partially resumed work
- employment abroad where the Danish Holiday Act does not cover the employment relationship
- transition to self-employment
- transition to working from home
- election as mayor, appointment as minister or similar positions of trust
- incarceration in one of the Probation and After-Care Service's institutions or a similar foreign institution
- compulsory commitment to care
- legally notified and settled disputes
- military service
- service in the armed forces on terms similar to military service
- stationing of armed forces to participate in tasks relating to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peace-building or humanitarianism when the task is based on a mandate from the Danish Parliament
- lack of funds to take holiday due to a dispute on a claim for holiday pay that arose in the holiday year between the employee and the employer
- caring for a sick or dying close relative where the employee has been awarded loss of earnings, pay or remuneration under the Danish Social Services Act for a shorter, limited period
- leave from an employment relationship to care for a sick or dying close relative.
- In the case of holiday obstacles relating to the first 4 weeks of holiday, it is only possible for holiday to be transferred.
You may choose to take holiday with holiday allowance instead of pay. 12% of the holiday qualifying pay in the holiday qualifying year is paid out to you when the holiday is taken. The special holiday bonus, which is agreed under the collective agreement, will be added to this.
If you work part-time and/or have excessive overtime work, you may consider claiming payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday instead of paid holiday days. You must be aware that you will lose the value of any pay scale increases and increases in pay agreed under the collective agreement when you take your holiday if you choose holiday allowance instead of pay.
You must notify the company before the start of the holiday qualifying year if you wish to take holiday with holiday allowance.
If you are an insurance agent, you will receive a holiday allowance of 12.5% of all variable salary components, i.e. commission on new business, super commission of sub-agents' new business, benefits based on results obtained from new business and sick pay percentage.
You will receive your fixed salary and other salary-related benefits in the normal manner during the holiday.
Special holiday bonus is a bonus your employer must pay to compensate for the fact that you do not receive the full 12.5% of your salary when you receive pay during holiday. According to the Danish Holiday Act, the holiday bonus shall amount to 1% of the gross salary in the preceding calendar year, but not, however, of pay during holiday or of previous holiday bonuses.
If you are employed under the standard collective agreement, the holiday bonus is 3.25% and calculated on the basis of the gross salary with the deduction of any special holiday bonus that has been paid out.
If you are employed under the standard collective agreement or a company collective agreement concluded under the standard collective agreement, the bonus will be paid out to you each year on 1 May.
Special rules apply in the event of resignation:
- If you resign in the period between 1 January and 30 April, you will receive a special holiday bonus of 2.25% for the last calendar year as well as for the current calendar year until the time of your resignation. You will also receive 12.5% in holiday allowance for holiday not taken.
- If you resign in the period between 1 May and 31 December, your special holiday bonus for the last calendar year will have already been paid together with your salary for the month of May.
You will receive a special holiday bonus of 2.25% for the current calendar year. You will also receive 12.5% in holiday allowance for holiday accrued in the current calendar year and which you have not taken. For holiday accrued in the last calendar year and which you have not taken, you will receive 11.5% in holiday allowance. The reason that you only receive 11.5% is that your employer can offset the one per cent in the holiday bonus, which you are entitled to under the Danish Holiday Act.
If you are not employed under the standard collective agreement, your holiday bonus will be paid out twice a year (1 September and 31 May) or on an on-going basis together with your salary.
If you are employed in a financial company after your period of training, you will receive the current pay for the holiday days you accrued as a trainee. This also applies if you were a trainee with a company other than the one you are working at now.
As a part-time employee, you will generally receive your usual salary during holiday, unless you had other working hours and a different salary when the holiday was accrued. If that is the case, the pay you receive during holiday will be the same as the salary you had at the time when the holiday was accrued.
If you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund and entitled to unemployment benefits, you may be entitled to holiday benefits from your unemployment insurance fund if you were unemployed or a student in the holiday qualifying year and consequently have not accrued holiday with pay or holiday allowance. You should contact your unemployment insurance fund for more advice.
Your employer must pay your holiday pay into the holiday request form scheme or FerieKonto by the last business day of the month in which you resign.
You must ensure that you submit a claim to your employer for the holiday allowance if you resign and your former employer does not pay the holiday allowance on time. Contact Legal Affairs and Negotiations by calling +45 32 66 13 30 if you discover that no holiday allowance was paid in connection with your resignation.
Your claims for holiday allowance, paid leave or holiday bonus will become subject to a period of limitation if you do not submit them to your employer within five years after the holiday leave period has expired.
You can interrupt the period of limitation by:
- contacting Finanssektorens Feriefond/Arbejdsmarkedets Feriefond within five years of the expiry of the holiday leave period if you have taken the holiday without having received holiday pay.
- seeking to have the holiday allowance paid by means of legal action, statutory process, a police report or filing for bankruptcy proceedings against the employer in question.
Finansforbundet always recommends that you contact your employer or former employer in the first instance - either directly or via your local branch or union representative. There is usually a reasonable explanation of the calculation or why your holiday pay is delayed.
Illness in Connection With Holiday
If you fall ill while you are on holiday, you may be entitled to substitute holiday if you are ill for more than 5 days. In order to be entitled to substitute holiday, you must call in sick to your employer and generally present a medical certificate as proof of the illness. The medical certificate must be applicable from the first sick day and you must pay for the certificate yourself. You may subsequently be entitled to substitute holiday for sick days in addition to the first 5 days.
If you fall ill while you are on holiday abroad, you must see a doctor abroad to get a medical certificate.
If you are ill when your holiday starts, you are not obliged to start the holiday. You are obliged to inform your employer about the illness that prevents you from taking the planned holiday as quickly as possible. Most companies have rules as to how, to whom and when you must call in sick - they also apply in this case. You must always call in sick as quickly as possible.
You are obliged to report fit for duty when you have recovered from your illness. You also have the right to take the rest of your planned holiday.
You may, e.g. be ill in the first week of a three-week main holiday. When you report fit for duty, you must notify your employer whether you want to take holiday leave in the remaining two weeks of holiday, or whether you want to postpone the entire holiday and consequently go back to work. You are not obliged to take holiday as planned.
If you choose to take the two weeks of holiday, this will be counted as the main holiday and you will be entitled to a main holiday of one more week. However, you cannot ask for this holiday to be taken in continuation of the preceding two weeks' holiday. In this case, the general rules for coordinating holiday shall apply.
You are entitled to substitute holiday after you have been ill for 5 days. The substitute holiday must generally be taken later in the same holiday leave period, i.e. before 31 December. If this is not possible due to illness, the substitute holiday may be taken in the following holiday year.
Days of holiday determined under the collective agreement (5 days)
You are granted five holidays after the collective agreement on 1 September
You will receive a proportionate share of the sixth holiday week upon taking up employment, depending on when you commenced employment. The number of days depends on when you commence your employment:
Employment commenced between 1 September and 30 November
5 holiday days
Employment commenced between 1 December and 29. February
4 holiday days
Employment commenced between 1 March and 30 April
3 holiday days
Employment commenced between 1 May and 31 June
2 holiday days
Employment commenced between 1 June and 31 August
1 holiday day