Are your employee(s) entitled to replacement holiday in case of illness?
Have you considered what happens if your employees become ill during their holiday? And whether the employees are entitled to replacement holiday and what conditions need to be met? We have highlighted three questions to consider in this respect:
1. What is the difference between the holiday year and the holiday settlement year?
The Danish holiday year runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.
All employees accumulate 25 days of holiday per holiday year, meaning the employees will accumulate 2.08 holidays per month.
The holiday earned during a holiday year can be taken in the period from September 1 to December 31 of the following year (ferieafviklingsår). Therefore, the holiday settlement year is the holiday year plus the subsequent four months.
2. When can the holiday be taken?
In Denmark, we differentiate between the main holiday and the remaining holiday.
The main holiday is three weeks and can be taken in the period from May 1 to September 30. It must be announced at least three months in advance.
The remaining holiday is the holiday that does not constitute the main holiday, i.e., the two weeks beyond the main holiday. The remaining holiday must be announced at least one month in advance and may therefore be imposed on the employee with one month’s notice.
If the employer and the employee agree, the holiday can of course be granted at shorter notice.
3. What happens if the employees become ill during their holiday?
As illness constitutes a holiday obstacle, the employee may be entitled to replacement holiday (erstatningsferie) if the they become ill in connection with their holiday.
The days of replacement holiday that the employee may be entitled to will depend on whether they become ill before or during the holidays.
Illness before holiday
If the employee becomes ill before the planned holiday and informs the employer before the beginning of the holiday, the employee will not be required to take the holiday. In that case, they will be entitled to replacement holiday.
Illness during holiday
If the employee becomes ill during the holidays, the employee may also be entitled to replacement holiday. However, there is a waiting period (karensdage) of 5 days if the employee has been employed in the company for the entire holiday year. As the waiting period is 5 days, the employee will be entitled to replacement holiday for sick days in addition to the first 5 days. For example, if the employee is ill for 10 days during their summer holiday, then the employee will be entitled to 5 days of replacement holiday. The employee must notify the employer of the illness in accordance with the company’s guidelines, and the employee must obtain and pay for a medical certificate documenting the illness.
If the employee recovers before the end of the planned holiday period, the employee must, as a general rule, show up for work. However, the employee has the right to take the remainder of the holiday. Upon recovery, the employee must immediately notify the employer whether the employee will take the remaining part of the planned holiday.
If the employee is entitled to replacement holiday, these holidays (up to 20 days) must, as a general rule, be settled within the holiday settlement year. If the employee is prevented from taking the replacement holiday within the holiday settlement year due to sickness etc., the holidays will be transferred to the following holiday settlement year.
For further questions about the Danish holiday rules, please contact us!
Your labor law team