Vacation and holidays

It is good to have vacation. Holidays are  a welcome opportunity to recharge. And no matter how you spend your vacation, you have some basic rights that the law gives you.

The holiday law says it quite clearly: You have the right to three weeks of continuous summer vacation. But you can not be sure that you can get the weeks to lie exactly where you want them.

Therefore, it is a great idea to get clarified with your boss when you can vacation, before you throw yourself over various holiday catalogs and internet surfing in the holiday dreams’.

– It is the employer who, in negotiation with the employees, decides when the holiday is to be held. Typically, the employees can come up with their wishes, and if not all wishes can be met, then the employer has the last word.

You have 5 weeks of vacation and you should be aware of some factors, which can seem a little confusing at first:

  • The main holiday must be between 1 May and 30 September. Here you can claim 3 consecutive holiday weeks.
  • The rest 2 weeks holiday can be placed at any time during the holiday year, but should as a rule be given for a continuous period of at least 1 week at a time.
  • If you have a job covered by the Danish Holiday Act, you are entitled to take vacation during the vacation year period. However, it will only be paid vacation if you have earned paid vacation time.
  • You earn paid vacation from January 1st to December 31st each calendar year at the rate of 2.08 days per month.
  • The vacation time that you earn in one calendar year is used in the next applicable vacation year.

The Danish vacation is further broken down so that there is a “main holiday period” which starts on May 1st and ends on September 30th. During this time, you would generally take three weeks of vacation of your five weeks. A lot of people take three weeks in a row while others break it up. If your employer wants to decide when you should take any of your vacation days, they have to let you know in advance according to the notice period rules.

Public Holidays: 

In addition to the vacation days, there are also public holidays. These are bunched up mostly in the early part of the year and so after June, there is only Christmas. However, the period in between June and Christmas includes the above mentioned main holiday, so it’s not bad at all.

Here is a list of the public holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Great Prayer Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

In addition to the usual public holidays, companies can choose to give extra time off, for example on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. There are also differences regarding Labour Day and Constitution Day, depending on where you work/what kind of work you do. Sometimes you can get a whole day off for these extra holidays, sometimes just a half day. Check with your employer for details.

How to plan your vacation.

You must have a clear agrement with your employer before your holiday can begin.

According to the holiday agreement, your employer must as far as possible take your holiday wishes into account. At the same time, the employer must ensure that the work can be carried out and therefore has the last word to have said.

Normal practice in most places is that you, in cooperation with your closest colleagues, make a plan for the distribution of holidays, which must subsequently be approved by the employer. This applies to both the main holiday and other holidays.  If disagreement arises around the time of the holiday, it is ultimately the employer who unilaterally decides. The Holiday Law says, your employer must decide when you take a vacation.

Notification of holiday

If nothing else is agreed in your employment contract, the holiday must be notified according to the rules of the holiday law. You must then be notified no later than 3 months before you must hold the main holiday (3 weeks), and no later than 1 month before you must hold the rest holiday (2 weeks).




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