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Q&A: Annual Leave & Holiday Pay

How much annual leave am I entitled to? How much is the holiday pay? What happens if I get sick during my holiday? In this article we provide some answers.

For further information regarding annual leave and holiday pay, please contact us by email

Contents

How much annual leave am I entitled to?

Planning your annual leave

Outstanding annual leave?

What is holiday pay?

What happens to my annual leave if I’m sick?

Resignation notice period and annual leave

New employment and annual leave

Annual leave while on furlough

Part-time employment and annual leave

How much annual leave am I entitled to?

All employees are by law entitled to at least 25 working days holiday each year. From 60 years of age, you are entitled to one additional week, or 6 more working days. The purpose of The Holidays Act is to ensure that employees have annual holidays and holiday pay.

Working days are weekdays including Saturdays. Sundays and public holidays are not regarded as working days. Normally, 6 working days correspond to one week. The employee is thus entitled to 4 weeks and one day’s holiday each calendar year. However, most Norwegian workers have a 5th holiday week, which is what we call the contractual holiday. In companies that have a collective agreement or other types of agreements, it is common for employees to be entitled to a 5-week holiday, i.e., an additional 5 working days.

The Holidays Act is invariable. I.e., the rules of the law cannot be waived to the detriment of the employees. However, one can agree on better terms than what is required by law, and a typical example of this is collective agreements between trade unions and an employer or employer association on working conditions and wages.

The Holidays Act § 5: https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§5

Planning your annual leave

In good time before the holiday, employers are to discuss the fixing of holiday dates and setting up of holiday lists with each individual employee.

If you and the employer fail to agree on the time for your vacation, the employer will have the final word within the limits given in §§ 7-9 in the Holidays Act. However, you are entitled to three continuous weeks of holiday during the main holiday period from 1 June until 30 September.

As a rule, you may demand to know when you can take your holiday at the latest two months before the holiday is planned to begin. If you are over the age of 60, you must give the employer at least 2 weeks' notice before taking extra leave.

Note that you are obliged to take full leave by the end of the calendar year. This means that the employer may require that you take all of your vacation. It is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to ensure that the holiday is completed.

The Holidays Act § 6: https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§6

Outstanding annual leave?

If holidays are not, or cannot be, completed in accordance with the law, the remaining days must be transferred. It cannot be compensated by repaying salary deductions, etc. Holidays of up to 12 working days can be transferred to the following holiday year.

The Holidays Act § 7 (3): https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§7

What is holiday pay?

All employees are entitled to holiday pay. The holiday pay must be at least 10.2 % of the basis for calculating holiday pay. The basis for calculating holiday pay is the pay you received during the previous calendar year. This also applies to bonuses, although this may be calculated differently depending on the nature of the bonus and the time of payment. The value of additional benefits (i.e., goods and services received) is not included in the basis. Employees over 60 years of age are entitled to a minimum of 12.5 %. The basis for calculating holiday pay must be shown in the certificate of pay and tax deducted for the qualifying year.

As a basic rule, holiday pay is to be paid on the last normal pay day before the holiday. However, the usual procedure is to pay holiday pay during a specific month, e.g., in June. It is not permitted to include holiday pay in the regular wage unless this is directly regulated through collective agreements.

The Holidays Act § 10: https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§10 

The Holidays Act § 11: https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§11

What happens to my annual leave if I get sick?

If you become completely incapacitated before your holiday, you may require the holiday to be postponed until later in the year. The claim must be documented with a medical certificate and made no later than your last working day before your holiday.

If you get sick during your holiday, you may claim a corresponding number of days off later in the year. Such a claim must be supported by a medical certificate and be submitted as soon as possible after your return to work.

The right to a new holiday applies only to your own illness, and not if your child gets sick.

The Holidays Act § 9: https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§9

Resignation notice period and annual leave

If you resign, the termination will have no effect on your vacation. This means that holidays can be determined and taken after you have resigned, if the obligation to give notice and discuss with the employer is complied with. Holidays that have been agreed on prior to termination are normally used during the period of notice.

Occasionally, employees want to take a vacation during part of the notice period. If the holiday is not already agreed upon, the employer may refuse you to take this. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

  • Employees may claim to take any of their residual leave during the notice period if the employee is not otherwise allowed to take leave before the end of the calendar year.
  • An employee over 60 years of age or who is turning 60 during the year may be allowed to take the additional holiday week during the notice period.

The Holidays Act § 8 (1): https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§8

If an employer terminates your employment, the employer cannot order you to take leave during the notice period if the notice period is shorter than three months. You may object that the already stipulated holiday be used during the notice period if the notice period is shorter than three months.

The holiday time cannot be changed when it is already agreed upon. The only exception is if the employer needs to change the dates for your holiday due to unforeseen events. Such a change can only be made when the use of the stipulated leave will create significant operating problems and no substitute can be obtained.

The Holidays Act § 8 (2): https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§8

New employment and annual leave

On termination of employment, you are to be paid all holiday pay that you have earned in the same calendar year, up to the last day of work. The payment is to be made on the last pay day before you leave.

If you start in a position before September 30, you are entitled to full vacation time. If you start in the position after September 30, you are not entitled to more than 6 working days of vacation out of the current holiday year (calendar year). However, these rules apply only if you can prove that full vacation has not already been used with another employer earlier in the holiday year.

As a new employee, you may claim full vacation regardless of whether you have earned holiday pay from another employer. You are also allowed to say no to taking leave if the holiday pay does not cover the loss of salary during the time of leave.

The Holidays Act § 5: https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§5

If you start in a position after August 15, you cannot claim a continuous 18 days of leave during the main holiday period.

The Holidays Act § 7 (1): https://lovdata.no/NLE/lov/1988-04-29-21/§7

The right to full vacation applies regardless of whether you have earned holiday pay from another employer. You have the right to say no to taking leave if the holiday pay does not cover the loss of income during the time of leave.

Annual leave while on furlough

The Holidays Act also applies when you have been temporarily laid off. During a temporary redundancy, holiday is taken as normal and does not count as redundancy time. Within the provisions of the Holidays Act, you may be directed to take a holiday during a temporary redundancy. When taking a holiday, you will be entitled to holiday pay accrued in the previous year.

Although you are laid off, you and your employer are obliged to ensure that your annual leave is taken. When the leave is taken, your unemployment benefit will be stopped, and you are entitled to holiday allowance. Since the use of leave affects your unemployment benefit, you must inform NAV that the leave was used.

Part-time employment and annual leave

The Holidays Act ensure all employees, irrespective of partial employment, the right to the full amount of annual leave, i.e., 25 working days.

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