Rules on childcare days

Learn about your rights in connection with childcare days.

​Everyone who is covered by the collective agreements is entitled to childcare days, but the number of days depends on your employment terms.

 

Right to childcare days

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What employees are entitled to childcare days?

Students may agree with the union representative as part of the agreement that otherwise differs from the collective agreement that the value of the childcare days is paid out according to the provisions, i.e. that you receive a supplement of 1.92% of the holiday qualifying pay.

Employees above scale 87/scale 248E in A contracts are also entitled to childcare days, while employees on B contracts are only entitled to childcare days if it is specifically stated in their individual contracts.

Employees employed according to article 44 with temporary employment for up to one month are not covered by the provisions on childcare days.

Employees employed according to article 46, i.e. employees with working hours of eight hours or less per week or 34.7 hours per month are entitled to childcare days, and the annual number is calculated pro rata in relation to the number of weekly workdays, on which their working hours are distributed.

Insurance agents are entitled to five childcare days per year. However, insurance agents pay for the days themselves, unless otherwise agreed locally. In order for an insurance agent to take a childcare day, it must have been agreed locally in advance how the payment for the childcare day is effected.

How many childcare days am I entitled to?

Generally, you are entitled to the same number of childcare days as you have working days in a working week. This applies to employees working full-time and part-time, subsidised employees and students.

If you work every day (for an average of five days per week), you are granted five childcare days on 1 January, possibly on 1 May, if it has been locally agreed to follow the holiday year. If you change employers within the FA's member area, you are not entitled to more than five childcare days in a calendar/holiday year.

If you do not work every day, the number of childcare days is calculated in the same way as the number of holidays. It is, however, possible to draw up more detailed guidelines locally for rounding off.

If you were employed in the current year, you are granted one childcare day when you start and accrue one childcare day more for each whole quarter in the employment period. This means that on employment:

  • On or before 1 January, you are entitled to five childcare days
  • On or before 1 April, you are entitled to four childcare days
  • On or before 1 July, you are entitled to three childcare days
  • On or before 1 October, you are entitled to two childcare days
  • After 1 October, you are entitled to one childcare day

The above does not apply, however, if in the year of entitlement you have been granted all childcare days from a previous employer within the collective agreement area.

If you have fixed-term employment, the entitlement depends on the time period. You are entitled to one childcare day on appointment and one for each whole quarter of your employment.

Please note that it may be agreed that childcare days are deposited in the hour bank at the start of the year of entitlement.

Am I always covered by the provisions on childcare days?

If, under your conditions of employment, you receive full pay from your employer, you are covered by the provisions on childcare days.

This means that if you are ill and receives pay during sickness, or have paid leave (e.g. pregnancy, maternity/paternity or adoption leave or leave to care for a dying relative or friend), you are also covered by the provisions.

You are not covered by the provisions on childcare days in periods, in which you do not receive pay or only receive pension contribution from your employer. Examples include periods of rights-based or agreed leave with government benefits according to the provisions of the Maternity Leave Act or in connection with maternity/paternity leave where only pension contributions are paid, or other types of unpaid leave.

Posted employees are not covered by the provisions, unless it has been agreed that they follow the collective agreements.

Taking childcare days

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How early must I give notice of the taking of childcare days?

A reasonable notice must be given of the time when a childcare day is taken, as the provisions do not provide for any notice as to when a childcare day is taken. The general rule is that childcare days are taken with due regard to the operation of the company, which means that your employer may deny a request for operational reasons. On the other hand, the taking of a childcare day may also be agreed at a day's notice.

How may I take my childcare days?

Generally, childcare days are taken as whole days off, which are agreed between you and your employer. There is nothing to prevent you from taking all childcare days as a continuous period. Nor is there anything to prevent you from agreeing that all days are taken shortly after 1 January.
If you work on Saturdays and Sundays, you may also take childcare days on such days.

It is possible to agree locally that childcare days can be taken as half days or as individual hours off.

It may also be agreed that the childcare days are deposited in the hour bank at the beginning of the entitlement year. If the hours have been deposited in the hour bank, the rules on withdrawal from the hour bank apply. This means that you are free to choose between payment and time off in lieu.

In case of any dispute about the taking of childcare days, you can pass on your questions to the union representative. However, it will be sensible to agree guidelines for the taking of childcare days with the union representative or in the company's joint consultation committee or in a corporate collective agreement.

Can I change an agreed childcare day?

An agreed childcare day can be changed but only according to agreement between you and your employer. Neither of you can unilaterally decide that an agreed childcare day can be taken at another time. In special cases, however, your employer may change an agreed childcare day, provided that the rules applying to sudden cancellation/change of agreed holiday are followed.

What if I have not taken all my childcare days?

The general rule is that childcare days not taken are deposited in the hour bank at the expiry of the entitlement year, i.e. either 31 December or 30 April.

When the hours have been deposited in the hour bank, the rules on withdrawal from the hour bank apply. This means, for instance, that employees can choose between payment and time off in lieu.

If it has been agreed locally specifically to keep the childcare days out of the hour bank, the value of the childcare days is calculated at the end of the year and subsequently paid out. The calculation is made at the end of December, and the payment is made in connection with the salary payment at the end of January and forms part of the tax base and in the calculation of holiday bonus and holiday allowance for that year. As the payment must be considered a salary component, labour market contribution must be deducted from the amount. The payment is calculated as a percentage of the annual salary. The amount paid out is not pensionable. The maximum amount paid out is 1.92% of the annual salary, including pension contributions (your own and the company's).

What if I have taken more childcare days than I am entitled to?

If you have taken all childcare days or more than the calculation entitles you to, the company cannot demand that you pay for the extra days. If, on the other hand, you have not taken all the days you are entitled to, and if you are not released from the duty to work, the company must pay for the remaining days at the time of resignation according to the rules on payment for childcare days not taken.

The conversion is made on the basis of the number of hours and days per week, for which the employee is employed at the date of termination.

If you resign, the balance in the hour bank account is paid out, including any childcare days not taken. 

Special conditions relating to childcare days

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What if I fall ill before my childcare day?

If you fall ill before your agreed childcare day with the effect that the childcare day cannot be taken due to illness, the childcare day is postponed. If you have agreed to take several childcare days in immediate continuation of each other, only the childcare days on which you are ill will be postponed. The other days will be considered taken, unless you can agree with your employer that the childcare day is postponed.

If you are dismissed or choose to resign, you should be aware of any childcare days not taken.

What happens with my childcare days if my conditions of employment change during the year?

If you have a five-day working week, you are entitled to five childcare days per year. This entitlement is maintained regardless of any change in your conditions of employment during the year.

If, for instance, you are transferred from full-time employment to part-time employment on 30 June, where you continue to work every day, and you have already taken four childcare days before the date of transfer, you are entitled to one childcare day in the remaining part of the calendar year. No form of translation into hours will be made. If, on the other hand, you have only taken one childcare day before 30 June, you are entitled to four days in the rest of the calendar year, irrespective of the fact that they are of shorter duration.

The same principle applies to employees who do not work every day.

If, for instance, you are transferred to a part-time position on 30 June, where you work every second day, and you have already taken three childcare days, you only have two left. But as you only work every second day, the conversion rules imply that you can only take one childcare day in the remaining part of the calendar year.

Will I get new childcare days if I get a new employer?

If you leave your present job and in the same year are employed with another company under the collective agreement, you are entitled to a pro rata entitlement with your new employer (see: "How many childcare days am I entitled to?"). Childcare days in an entitlement year cannot exceed five, irrespective of the number of employers.

What happens to my childcare days in case of termination?

Unless otherwise agreed in a local agreement, termination means that childcare days not taken are converted into hours and deposited in your hour bank account. This applies regardless of whether you resign or you are dismissed by the company. 

Consequently, notice of the taking of childcare days cannot be given in connection with termination, nor in connection with any release from the duty to work, unless it has been agreed locally that childcare days are not deposited in the hour bank, or if, in connection with the termination, you have agreed that the childcare days will be taken during your notice period.

How are childcare days not deposited in the hour bank calculated in case of termination?

If it has been agreed locally that childcare days will at no time, not even in case of termination, be deposited in the hour bank, this implies that notice can be given to the effect that childcare days not taken must be taken in any period when you are partly or wholly released from the duty to work. The value of the childcare days may also be paid out. In that case, payment must be made as soon as possible after your resignation.

If such local agreement exists, the number of childcare days not taken is calculated in relation to the calendar year on termination. The childcare days are calculated as follows:

  • Before 31 March, you are entitled to one childcare day
  • Before 30 June, you are entitled to two childcare days
  • Before 30 September, you are entitled to three childcare days
  • By 30 November, you are entitled to four childcare days
  • After 30 November, you are entitled to five childcare days