Holiday rules

Get answers to your questions about holidays and time off for public duty.

​You have a right to usual pay during holiday when your holiday entitlement has been accrued in the company.

New Danish holiday rules

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What are the most important things for me to know if I stay at my job/am not unemployed between changing jobs?

There are no changes to your right to paid holidays if you stay at your current job or if you change jobs without a period of unemployment or leave between jobs. This means that you have the right to the same number of holiday days you had before.

However, you should be aware that your holidays are administered differently starting 1 September 2020. This means that the holiday year now runs from 1 September to 31 August the following year, and in the future, you will take holidays during the period of 1 September to 31 December the following year.

Here are the most important things for you to know:

You will be granted holidays at different times

In 2020, you will be granted holiday days differently than you are used to. On 1 May 2020, you will only get 16.7 holiday days and not 25 days as before. After that, you will be granted 2.08 holiday days on an ongoing basis starting from 1 September 2020.

If you want to take a long holiday during the summer of 2020, you should make sure that you have enough holiday days. However, you will be granted care days the same as before, so you can use those in connection with a summer holiday in 2020.

It is currently unclear if the new Danish Holiday Act also affects the time when you will be granted holiday days through a collective agreement (the 6th holiday week) from 2020. Therefore, we will update this page on an ongoing basis and will clearly announce when this has been clarified.


You can take holidays as soon as you have earned them

You get concurrent holidays, which means you can take holidays immediately after you have earned them. You earn the right to 2.08 paid holiday days per month and you can take the holiday days the month after.


You may be paid holiday supplements twice a year

You earn the right to holiday supplements of 1% of qualifying salary. If you are employed in a company that is covered by a standard collective agreement or a company collective agreement, the holiday supplement constitutes 3.25% of qualifying salary.

You will still be paid a holiday supplement on 1 May if you are covered by the standard collective agreement or a company collective agreement that is included under the standard collective agreement.

If you are not covered by the standard collective agreement or a company collective agreement that is included under the standard collective agreement, a new rule is that you may either be paid holiday supplements twice a year (1 September and 31 May) or on an ongoing basis along with salary.


You can transfer holidays or get paid for the days

You can enter an agreement with your manager to transfer holiday days to the next holiday year if you have not taken all your holiday days during the holiday year. You can also get paid for the holiday days for days beyond the first four weeks.


You cannot take all of your holiday days

You cannot take holiday days you have earned during the period of 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020. Instead, the holiday days are frozen and an amount corresponding to 12.5% of the qualifying salary for the period will be paid to LD Pensions (Lønmodtagernes Feriemidler). The reason is that you would otherwise have the right to take 10 weeks of holiday days in the same holiday year. The legislature found that this would be problematic for the labour market and therefore your holidays will be paid to LD Pensions.

You do not lose the money paid to LD Pensions, but you are not paid the money until you reach retirement age or if you apply for early retirement, disability pension, flexible benefits or if you move abroad and document that you have left the labour market.

Read more at Lønmodtagernes Feriemidler

Sickness in connection with holidays

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What if I fall ill during my holiday?

If you fall ill while you are on holiday, you may be entitled to replacement holiday. In order to be entitled to replacement holiday, you must call in sick to your employer, and generally you must present a medical certificate as proof of the illness. The medical certificate must apply from the first day of sickness and you must pay for the certificate yourself.

If you fall ill while you are on holiday abroad, you must see a doctor abroad to get a medical certificate.

When and how should I call in sick?

If you are ill when your holiday starts, you are not obliged to start the holiday. You have a duty to inform your employer as quickly as possible about the illness that prevents you from taking the planned holiday. 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.

When should I report back to work?

When your illness is over, you have a duty to report back to work and a right to take the rest of the planned holiday.

You may, for example, be ill in the first week of a three week main holiday. When you report back to work, 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' holiday, this is the main holiday and you are entitled to another week's main holiday, which, however, you cannot require should be taken in continuation of the preceding two weeks' holiday. In this case, the usual rules for the timing of holiday apply.

When am I entitled to replacement holiday?

You must have been sick for five days before you are entitled to replacement holiday. Generally, you must take the replacement holiday later in the same holiday year, i.e. before 1 May. If this is not possible due to illness, the replacement holiday can be taken in the following holiday year.

Taking holidays and notice of holidays

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How much holiday am I entitled to?

All employees in the financial sector are covered by the Holiday with Pay Act. In addition, the individual collective agreements contain various supplementary provisions on holiday.

You are always entitled to 25 days of holiday in a holiday year, whether or not you have accrued an entitlement to paid holiday. 

When must I take my holiday?

The main holiday must be taken in the holiday period from 1 May to 30 September. You are entitled to at least 15 days' consecutive holidays in the main holiday period – unless you consent to something different.

The holiday leave starts at the beginning of working hours on the first day of absence and terminates at the end of working hours on the last day of absence.

The remaining two weeks' holiday is called other holiday or remaining holiday. You are free to take the remaining holiday when 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 shorter if considerations for the operation of the work place makes it necessary or if you and your employer agree so.

The employer must – considering the operation of the company – comply with your requests for the taking of holiday insofar as possible. If you want to take the main holiday during your child's school summer holiday, your employer has an enhanced duty to comply with your request. However, circumstances in the company's operation may still prevent your request from being met – for example the necessity of maintaining minimum manning.

When should notice of my holiday be given?

The timing of the holiday should be planned as early as possible. If you cannot agree, and if your employer unilaterally wants you to take the holiday at a specific time, you must be notified of this at least three months before the start of the main holiday, and no later than one month before the start of the remaining holiday, unless special circumstances prevent this.

If you have schoolchildren, your employer must consider this, when you plan the holiday.

When the timing of your holiday has been fixed, neither you nor your employer can generally change this. If you meet with unforeseen events, for example illness in your family, you must try to make an agreement with your employer to the effect that you can postpone your holiday.

How many holidays can I transfer?

Accrued holidays in excess of 20 days can be transferred to the following holiday year if the employer and the employee are in agreement. Moreover, holidays not taken because of special circumstances, such as sickness or maternity/paternity leave, are taken in the following holiday year if the company and the employee are in agreement. The sixth holiday week can also be transferred to the following holiday year.

According to the Holiday with Pay Act, there is in principle no limit as to how many times holidays in excess of 20 days per year can be transferred. For instance, you and your employer may agree that you transfer one week's accrued holiday for ten consecutive years. Some companies establish guidelines as to how many holidays their employees can accumulate.

If you want to transfer holidays, you should also be aware that you and your employer must enter into a written agreement to this effect. The agreement must have been made before 30 September after the expiry of the holiday year.

If you are an insurance agent, you must be aware that having the fifth holiday week transferred requires that a local agreement has been made in your company for the transfer of holiday.

Can my employer change agreed holidays?

As an employee you are entitled to three weeks' consecutive holiday every year. At most workplaces, holidays are planned and approved by the employer many months in advance. When your holiday has been approved, it cannot be changed.

This is anyway the paramount rule.

Only in the event of a force majeure-like situation, can your employer move your already planned holiday. It is not enough that many employees in the department are ill, or that some of your colleagues have resigned or are on maternity/paternity leave. It is always a specific assessment whether the situation is SO special that your holiday can be moved or cancelled. Should such a situation arise, your employer must compensate any financial loss you may incur because of the change of your holiday. This may be cover of a holiday already paid for, rent of a summer cottage or similar costs that cannot be refunded.

Finansforbundet (Financial Services Union Denmark) recommends that when you agree on a new time for the taking of your holiday, you should also agree on the extent to which your employer compensates you for your loss.

Just as your employer cannot unilaterally move your holiday, you are not entitled to have your holiday moved after the timing has been agreed.

However, you and your employer can always reach an agreement on changing the timing of your holiday if it suits both of you. Just make sure to make a clear agreement on what the change involves.

What happens with my holiday if I resign or is dismissed?

If you want to take your holiday during the notice period, and you have planned or agreed this with your employer, you can take the holiday. If you do not want to take your holiday during a notice period, when you have been dismissed by your employer, special rules apply.

Planned holiday must be taken in the notice period if you have handed in your resignation. Generally, this also applies if you are dismissed by your employer, unless the holiday is the main holiday (three weeks), and you have a notice period of three months or less. Besides, you may be ordered to take holiday with the notices that follow from the Holiday with Pay Act. The notices are three months for the main holiday and one month for other holidays.

You cannot be ordered to take transferred holidays in the notice period, unless an agreement was made when the holiday was transferred about when the holiday should be taken. The FA and Finansforbundet agree that:

  • where a specific agreement was made in connection with the transfer as to when the transferred holiday should be taken, and where this time has been passed at the date of resignation/dismissal, the transferred holiday is considered to have been taken.
  • where the taking of holiday has not been agreed, or the agreed date for taking the holiday is after the date of resignation/dismissal, the transferred holiday is considered as not taken and the value of the holidays must be paid out.

The interpretation also applies if you are immediately released from the duty to work.

If you are released from the duty to work, the release is considered an automatic request that you should take as much holiday as possible according to the provisions on notice.

If you are suspended, you can usually not take holiday.

What happens with my holiday if I change jobs?

Even though you resign, you maintain your right to paid holiday. In that case, your employer must calculate the amount of holiday allowance you have earned, and the amount of holiday bonus to which you are entitled.

The holiday allowance is generally transferred to a holiday card scheme, while the holiday bonus will be paid to you in cash. The value of any transferred holidays not taken will also be paid out to you.

If you want to take your holiday immediately after the end of the employment, the holiday allowance may be paid to you directly from your employer. You are, however, only entitled to this if your holiday allowance should have been paid into FerieKonto (holiday account). If you are covered by a holiday card scheme, the holiday allowance may be paid out according to agreement with your employer.

When your employer has paid your holiday pay into either the holiday card scheme or FerieKonto, and when the holiday year approaches in which the money is due to you, you will automatically receive a statement of the amount and the number of holidays.

If you are in employment, you must fill in the holiday card yourself with the number of planned holidays, sign it and then send it to the holiday card scheme. Your employer need not sign.

If you are unemployed and receive money from your unemployment fund at the time of the holiday, the unemployment fund must sign your holiday certificate or holiday card. If you are unemployed and receive benefits from the local authority, your local authority of residence must sign your holiday certificate.

If you do not take all holidays at once, a new holiday certificate will be issued to you, which you must use the next time you take a holiday.

Holiday entitlement

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How do I accrue holiday entitlement as a full-time employee?

You accrue entitlement to 2.08 days of paid holiday for each month of employment in a calendar year (holiday qualifying year). For employment periods of less than one month, you accrue entitlement to 0.07 days of paid holiday per day.

You must take the accrued holidays in the period from 1 May to 30 April in the following year.

 As a main rule, you accrue paid holiday when you are employed and during absence where you receive full or partial pay, such as in the event of:

  • sickness
  • maternity/paternity leave with pay
  • full maternity/paternity leave without pay but with pension contributions paid by the employer
  • child's first sick day
  • release from the duty to work and suspension

How do I accrue holiday entitlement as a part-time employee?

As a part-time employee, you accrue holiday in the same way as a full-time employee. You have 25 days of paid holiday in a holiday year if you have been employed in the entire holiday qualifying year.

When you take holiday, a number of work-free days are included in the holiday, pro rata to the scope of your employment. In other words, you take holiday at the same rate as you work and generally with the same pay.

Example: 25 days of holiday. You only work every second week. When you take two weeks' holiday, you use ten holidays, but is paid for one week only. You receive 50% of a full-time monthly salary.

How do I accrue holiday entitlement as a trainee?

If you are a trainee or a newly qualified finance economist in preliminary training and are employed in the period from May up to and including July, you are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday in the holiday year, in which you were employed. If you took holiday in the period from 1 May to the day of employment, the number of holidays taken is deducted from the 25 days of holiday.

If you are employed in the period from 1 August to 1 December, you are entitled to seven paid holidays in the holiday year, in which you were employed.

All trainees are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday in the holiday year that follows the holiday year, in which the trainee was employed.

Holidays accrued in your period of training, but which you take in a new employment in another financial company, must be taken with the salary paid at the time of the holiday. This means that you bring accrued holiday with you into your new employment, and your new employer must pay you the "high" pay during the holiday.

Pay, bonus and government benefits during holiday

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What is my holiday qualifying pay?

Under the Holiday with Pay Act, your employer must calculate holiday allowance and holiday bonus of your holiday qualifying pay, which is any salary amount liable to income tax: 

  • your personal gross salary
  • own contribution to pension scheme
  • any performance-related pay
  • additional and overtime payment
  • commission

Before you calculate your holiday qualifying pay, you must deduct the salary that was paid during the holiday and the cash holiday bonus if it was included in the gross salary. The cash holiday bonus is calculated in the same manner.


What if I have not accrued entitlement to paid holiday?

If you have not accrued entitlement to paid holiday, your employer will deduct 7.4 hours' pay for each holiday taken.

If you are a part-time employee, pay will be deducted according to the terms on which you are employed.

How do new pay conditions affect my pay during holiday?

Generally, you are entitled to your usual, fixed salary during the holiday.

There is a rule, however, that if your working hours and thus your pay change significantly from the holiday qualifying year to the holiday year, the pay you receive during the holiday must be adjusted.

If your working hours have changed by 20% or less, you will receive your current pay during the holiday. This applies regardless of whether you work more or fewer hours since you accrued the entitlement to paid holiday. If your working hours have changed by more than 20%, your pay during holiday must, on the other hand, be adjusted pro rata.

Can I receive pay instead of holiday?

You can agree with your employer that you will be paid salary instead of taking holiday in excess of 20 days that you have not taken. This means that you can convert the fifth and sixth holiday week into money.


Payment of amounts of less than DKK 1,500

If the amount you have left when the holiday year has expired is less than DKK 1,500 after tax, the holiday pay will in certain cases be paid out to you automatically. This requires that the amount of DKK 1,500 originates from holiday you have either accrued in a terminated employment or that the holiday is from the fifth or sixth holiday week. In that case, the amount must be paid by 15 June after the end of the holiday year.


Payment of amounts of more than DKK 1,500

Amounts of more than DKK 1,500 will be paid out to you if:

  • the remaining holiday pay amounts to less than DKK 3,000 and you have taken the holiday while in employment; or
  • the remaining holiday pay originates from the fifth or sixth holiday week (irrespective of the amount); or
  • the remaining holiday pay originates from an employment which ended on or before 30 April (irrespective of the amount).

To have the holiday pay paid out, you must use a form, which you can find at Borger.dk. The form must reach FerieKonto or the holiday card issuer by 30 September. Otherwise, you will lose the right to have the money paid out to you.

Can I receive holiday allowance instead of pay?

You may choose to take holiday with holiday allowance instead of with pay. In that case, 12% of the holiday qualifying pay in the holiday qualifying year is paid out to you when the holiday is taken. To this should be added the special holiday bonus, which is agreed under the collective agreement.

If you work part-time and/or have much overtime work, you may consider claiming holiday allowance instead of pay during the holiday. 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.

If you want to take holiday with holiday allowance, you must notify the company before the start of the holiday qualifying year.

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 new business results obtained and sick pay component.

You will receive your fixed salary and other benefits of a salary nature in the usual manner during the holiday.

What is special holiday bonus?

Special holiday bonus is a bonus your employer must pay to compensate for the fact that you do not receive full 12.5% of your salary when you receive pay during holiday. According to the Holiday with Pay Act, the holiday bonus must amount to 1% of the gross salary in the preceding holiday qualifying 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 increased to 3.25%, calculated on the basis of the gross salary with the deduction of any special holiday bonus paid out.

You will receive the bonus each year on 1 May.

Special rules apply in case of resignation. If you resign in the period:

  • 1 January to 30 April: You will receive a special holiday bonus of 2.25% for both the previous holiday qualifying year and the current holiday qualifying year until your resignation.
  • From 1 May to 31 December: Your special holiday bonus for the last holiday qualifying year has already been paid with your May salary.

For the current holiday qualifying year, you receive a special holiday bonus of 2.25%. Moreover, you receive 12.5% in ordinary holiday allowance, which you receive on a holiday card. Finally, you receive a holiday card with holiday allowance for the last holiday qualifying year of 11.5%. The reason that you only receive 11.5% is that your employer can set off the one percent in holiday bonus which you are entitled to under the Holiday with Pay Act.

Will I receive pay during my holiday after my period of training?

If you are employed in a company after your period of training, you will receive the current pay for the holidays you have accrued as a trainee. This also applies if you were a trainee with a company other than your present employer.

As a part-time employee, will I receive my usual salary during holiday?

You will receive your usual salary as in the other months.

Can I take holiday with unemployment benefits after unemployment or leave?

If you are a member of an unemployment fund and entitled to unemployment benefits, you may be entitled to holiday benefits from your unemployment fund if you were unemployed or a student in the holiday qualifying year and consequently have not accrued holiday with pay or holiday allowance.

What deadlines should I be aware of in relation to holiday pay?

Your employer must pay holiday pay into the holiday card scheme or FerieKonto by the 7th of the second month after your resignation.

If you resign and your former employer does not pay holiday allowance on time, you must be sure to raise a claim for the holiday allowance against the employer. Contact Legal Affairs and Negotiations on telephone +45 32 66 13 30 if you find out that no holiday allowance was paid in connection with your resignation.

Claims for holiday allowance, paid holiday or holiday bonus become statute-barred if you do not raise them against the employer within three years of the expiry of the holiday year. This means that holiday accrued in 2014 (which had to be taken in the 2015/2016 holiday year) becomes statute-barred at the expiry of the 2019 holiday year.

You can interrupt statute-barring by:

  • contacting the holiday fund/FerieKonto before three years have passed after the expiry of the holiday year if you have taken the holiday without having received holiday pay.
  • contacting Udbetaling Danmark if you have had a holiday obstacle in the holiday year.
  • contacting the employer if the holiday pay has not been paid into the holiday fund. If the employer does not satisfy the claim, you must seek to have the claim processed either in a court case, by industrial procedure, by filing of police report, by submitting a bankruptcy petition or by written notification to Udbetaling Danmark.

Time off for public duty

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Local councillor

The Danish Local Government Act includes provisions for your participation in local council meetings as well as provisions that protect you against dismissal because of your elective office.

You are entitled to absence from your job without pay to participate in:

  • Local council meetings, including work in committees and sub-committees
  • Meetings in connection with the performance of local authority duties performed after the election of the local council
  • Courses, etc. which the local council considers to be of importance to the performance of the above duties
  • Seminars, e.g. about budgets and other local authority matters of general importance.

The right to absence does not, however, apply in cases where crucial considerations for the employer take precedence.

You are protected against dismissal due to your elective office. The protection enters into force already when you run for the local council, and your employer must prove that your office is not the reason for your dismissal. If the employer is unable to bear this burden of proof, you will be entitled to a compensation of up to 78 weeks' pay.

Lay judge or juror

If you are appointed as a lay judge or juror, this is also considered a public duty. However, there are no express statutory provisions on the right to absence from work. As it is a public duty, the clear point of departure is that you are entitled to absence from work. The right to absence does not, however, apply in cases where crucial considerations for the employer take precedence.

Witness

If you are called as a witness, you are entitled to absence without pay to perform your duty to give evidence.

Absence with pay

Please note that often either the local agreement or the staff policy provides for time off with pay and pension for the performance of public duty. If you do not have such a written policy, you can contact your shop steward and discuss whether you can make an agreement in the specific case.