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Summer is approaching fast and it’s time for a break from work. Find out what your holiday rights are.

Summer is approaching fast and it’s time for a break from work. Find out what your holiday rights are.

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Holiday leave and your rights:

When can I take my holidays? Here are 10 questions and answers

Summer is just around the corner and many people are looking forward to going on holiday. Here are the answers to the most common questions that people have about holidays.
01.07.2022
12:53
01.07.2022 12:55

Aslak Bodahl

foreignworkers@lomedia.no

Who decides when I take my annual leave?

Generally speaking, employers decide when their employees will take their annual leave.

According to the Holidays Act, you have a right to 25 days of annual leave. You have a right to take 18 working days of leave within what is called the main holiday period, which is between 1 June and 30 September. Working days are all days that are not Sundays or public holidays. This means that Saturdays also count as working days.

You also have the right to take out all the remaining seven days of leave in a continuous holiday before the end of the holiday year. The holiday year is the same as the calendar year.

You accumulate your holiday pay during the year before it is paid out. Even if you have not accumulated holiday pay you are still entitled to holiday leave. This will not be the case, however, if you started in your job after 15 August in the holiday year in question.

When will I find out when I can take my holiday leave?

Your employer must discuss the timing of your leave with your elected representative or you as an employee well before the start of the holiday period. According to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet), the timing of your annual leave should be decided no later than two months before it starts – unless there are special reasons preventing this.

At my workplace we have a collective agreement. Does that give me more holiday time?

Yes. Workplaces with a collective agreement get five extra days of leave. That means 30 days in total. If you reach the age of 60 during the holiday year you will be entitled to an additional six working days of leave.

This extra holiday time can be taken out in two ways: either as a continuous holiday or as one or more days at the same time.

I am a part-time employee. How much holiday time am I entitled to?

As a part-time employee you are entitled to the same amount of leave as a full-time employee. In other words, 25 days. Collective agreements granting extra holiday time also apply to part-time employees.

If you take out four weeks of summer holiday in a 50 per cent part-time position, you will have used up all the four weeks of leave that you are entitled to. In this context, the days you normally have off will be counted as days of leave.

If you work a 50 per cent part-time job, your employer must not deduct four weeks and one day from your salary if the holiday pay is calculated on the basis of your wages in May or June. The deduction must only be for the days you should have worked, in other words, two weeks and a half day if you work a 50 per cent part-time position.

What is my leave entitlement if I have just started in a new job?

You have both a right and a obligation to take holiday time even if you have just started in a new job. You can do this so long as you did not use up your full quota of leave in your last job. You need to have accrued holiday pay in the preceding year with your previous or current employer for your employer to have the right to order you to take holiday leave.

These are your rights:

• Full leave entitlement – 25 working days – if you start in your job before 30 September at the latest.

• Three weeks of holiday time during the main holiday period (between 1 June and 30 September) if you started in your job before 15 August at the latest.

• At least one week of leave in the same year if you started your job after 30 September.

When will I receive my holiday pay?

Holiday pay is usually paid out in the last normal pay packet before the holidays. Most employers choose to replace normal pay with holiday pay in June.

Holiday pay is calculated on the basis of your pay in the preceding year. In other words, holiday pay for this year’s annual leave was earned in 2021.

The usual method is to calculate holiday pay on the basis of a working week of six days. This makes for an average of 26 working days per month. For a five-week holiday (30 working days) an employer will need to deduct pay for four days more than a whole month’s pay, generally referred to on the payslip as 4/26. This method of calculating the deduction is often used even if in practice the employee works a five-day week.

How much holiday pay will I receive?

That depends on whether or not you are employed in a company with a collective agreement. According to the law, the amount you receive in holiday pay must be equivalent to 10.2 per cent of your pay in the preceding year. As we saw earlier, employees aged over 60 are entitled to extra leave and a percentage rate of 12.5.

However, the numbers are better where a collective agreement is in force. In companies with collective agreements employees’ holiday pay is 12 per cent of last year’s pay. Employees aged over 60 receive holiday pay that is equivalent to 14.3 per cent.

Many people believe that holiday pay is tax free. This is not the case. Holiday pay is subject to taxation and is included in the calculation of the tax that employees pay during the income year. In order to avoid tax being deducted from holiday pay in the month it is paid out, a slightly higher rate of tax is deducted from wage payments during the rest of the year.

Do I have to take annual leave?

You are legally obliged to take holiday time and your employer is legally obliged to ensure that you do so. All statutory holiday leave must be carried forward to the next holiday year if it is not taken in the current year. The same applies if you were ill for an extended period of time and are owed extensive holiday time.

You cannot choose to take money instead of leave. Your leave must be taken in holiday days. Paying out holiday pay for leave that was not taken or carried forward to the following holiday year is against the law.

You can be paid holiday pay for leave that was not taken if you leave the employ of your employer.

What rights do I have if I fall ill during my holidays?

A doctor’s certificate is enough for you to be entitled to a new holiday. To be able to claim a new period of leave, you must be 100 per cent unable to work or signed off on sick leave.

If you become unable to work due to sickness before you are due to take your annual leave you can require your leave to be postponed until later in the holiday year. This must be documented with a doctor’s certificate submitted no later than the last day before you were due to go on leave.

If you become ill during your holliday leave you can require a corresponding number of working days of leave to be postponed and taken as leave later in the holiday year.

Can I divide my holiday time up into individual days?

Employees cannot divide up their holiday time into individual days unless this has been agreed with their employer. If you normally work three days in the week in which you take leave, you will have used one holiday week and not three days of leave.

At arbeidstilsynet.no you will find further information on leave.

Sources: The Holidays Act, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, Altinn, Infotjenester, Fagbladet and HK-Nytt.

Translated by Robert Lovering

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This is what the law says

The Act relating to Holidays (The Holidays Act) ensures that employees get annual leave and holiday pay.

As well as their statutory rights to leave, trade union members enjoy additional holiday time under collective agreements.

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01.07.2022
12:53
01.07.2022 12:55

FriFagbevegelse for foreign workers

Here you will find articles relevant for foreigners working in Norway. Articles in Polish, Lithuanian and English will cover topics such as the rights, rules and laws that apply.

The website is made by FriFagbevegelse, a news site about working life and the trade union movement.

Please share the articles with colleagues and friends.

Got a story to tell? Contact us: foreignworkers@lomedia.no

> Read more news in English

> Więcej wiadomości po polsku

> Skaitykite daugiau naujienų lietuvių kalba