Why are vacation days calculated in days?

Did you know that if you take a vacation day on an 8-hour working day, it counts as much on the vacation balance as if you take a vacation day on a 5-hour working day? This is because vacation must be taken as it is earned, but this rule is not entirely unproblematic for the employer.

It is important for both the company and the employee to know the value of a vacation day and the rules relating to this. It is important for the employee because it concerns the right to take time off with pay, and for the company because it affects the amounts they have to pay to the employees.

But if you look at the new Danish Holiday Act, not all rules seem equally logical. For example, there is no distinction between the value of a vacation day on a normal 8-hours working day versus a vacation day where the employee would work for 5 hours. This means that it is more beneficial for the employee to plan their vacation days on the longer working days rather than on the shorter ones. It is all linked to the rule that vacation days must be taken as they are earned – namely in days – but with this rule the law seems imprecise and can ultimately result in it being significantly more expensive for the company to allow an employee to take time off. However, if the employee often chooses to take Fridays off, it is more beneficial for the employer.

The employee wins while the employer loses

According to the new Danish Holiday Act, an employee earns the right to 2.08 days of paid vacation for each month of employment in the holiday year, which runs from 1 September to 31 August of the following year. Because the vacation is accrued in days, as a rule it must also be taken for whole days. This appears from § 6,2 of the Holiday Act. 2, which states that vacation days must be  taken in the same way as the work is organized in terms of time. Therefore, there is no difference in terms of the value of the vacation days.

If the employee systematically chooses to place his days off on the longer working days, the employer will lose significantly more working hours than if the employee chooses to take a holiday on the shorter days. It simply requires that the employee puts his or her holiday 3 times on a long Monday rather than on a short Friday, and then the employee has scored over 1 full free holiday day more than everyone else – without it being noted in the vacation balance. One may therefore wonder why the Holiday Act does not require that vacation days are held in hours instead of days? Then this problem would never exist.

Is there any way to calculate vacation in hours?

The only possible way to deviate from the rule is to make an agreement in a collective agreement that vacation is accrued in hours. In that case, the vacation must also be held in hours.

Are you a part-time employee?

As a part-time employee, you earn 2.08 vacation days per month, just like a full-time employee.

If you work all days of the week, but just fewer hours than a full-time employee, the vacation is also processed in the same way as a full-time employee.

But if you have days off from work, different rules apply. According to the Holiday Act, non-working days are included in the holiday with a proportional number. In practice, this means that if an employee has, for example, 1 weekly day off work, then a vacation of 4 working days and 1 day off must be taken for each week’s holiday.

If you are part-time employed and have to take a week’s holiday, then you must register 5 holiday days, even if you are only employed to work 4 days a week. But how does that make sense? Why do you have to register vacation on a day you are not employed to work? This issue could be solved if the employee earns fewer holiday days per month, e.g. 1.8 holiday days instead of 2.08, but there are many salary systems that cannot handle this, because the Holiday Act says that you must earn 2.08 vacation days per month.

If you were employed to work 4 days a week, you could also change the value of a vacation day to 1.25 instead of 1, so that overall, in a week, it becomes 5. That way you could avoid that the employee has to register a vacation day on the last day on which they normally have time off. If the employee works different hours on the different 4 working days, it would still be a problem that there is no distinction in terms of value between the days, and it would still be an advantage for the employee to take time off on one of the longer days. Again, this problem could be solved if you settled in hours instead of days.

Keep track of the vacation days

With a digital time registration system from Intempus, you can get a tailored solution that fits exactly your way of earning and taking vacation days. For example, we can set up the system to count the vacation in hours instead of days.

The system makes it easy for both the employees and the employer to keep an overview of used and accrued holidays – regardless of whether the workforce consists of full-time or part-time employees, or whether you want the vacation days to be calculated in days or hours. 

Are you interested in hearing more about how Intempus can make the working day easier for your business? Then feel free to give us a call on: +45 26390400 or book a free demo here:

Sources: Visma.dk, Ferieloven

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