At the beginning of September, Denmark finally overhauled its 80-year-old Holiday Act. The ageing legislation, considered progressive when it was introduced, was putting the country out of step with the rest of Europe. It had to go.
The stumbling block which finally did for the old Act was its non-alignment with the Working Time Directive, a piece of EU regulation designed to reflect the changed working conditions of the last couple of decades.
Denmark has now enshrined in law the concept that entitlement to paid leave commences at the beginning of a job, not after some arbitrary period of employment. That shift towards so-called ‘concurrent holidays’, which better reflects the living conditions of contract workers, brings Denmark into line with other member states.
In fact, other provisions of the new Act put the Danes slightly ahead of the curve. They now get 25 days of paid leave every year (that’s 2.08 days every month) and entitlements to holiday bonuses as well as the expected holiday allowances.
However, if the awkward decimal fraction in that monthly allowance suggested that the updated Act was likely to increase your administrative workload, your impressions were perfectly correct. Danish workers and their bosses will now have to cope with entitlement calculations and concepts like ‘carryovers’ and ‘holiday debt’. Then there’s the 2019–20 transition period, and the way that a portion of earnings now gets paid directly into a Lønmodtagernes Feriemidler (er, that’s a special ‘holiday account’, it says here.)
All in all, it’s fair to say that scribbling with a pencil stub on the back of an envelope probably won’t be an adequate way to keep track of paid leave in Denmark.
Fortunately, LeavePlanner has all the resources your company needs (whether you’re based in Denmark or not) to help your employees get the max out of their holiday entitlements… and to help you get the most out of them! To learn more, just drop us a note.