Timing of the holiday

Before determining the time of a holiday, the employer must give the employee an opportunity to express his/her view on the timing.

Ultimately, the employer determines the timing of the annual holiday, but employees’ wishes must be taken into account as far as possible. The employer must also treat employees equally in allocating holidays.

The employer must announce the time of an employee’s holiday at least one month before its start. The one-month notice period is the unconditional principal requirement, but if giving one month’s notice is not possible, notification must in any case be given at least two weeks before the start of the holiday. Annual holiday may coincide with the employee’s lay-off, maternity leave or child-care leave.

Summer holiday must be granted during the holiday season

The holiday season is the period between 2 May and 30 September. A 24-day period of annual holiday (summer holiday) must be granted during the holiday season. The remaining annual holiday (winter holiday) must be granted no later than the beginning of the following holiday season, i.e. between 1 October and 30 April.

Summer holiday and winter holiday must each be granted as an uninterrupted period. If, however, it is essential for work continuity reasons to split employee holidays, a period of 12 holiday days must in any case be granted as an uninterrupted period. The remaining holiday may be granted in one or more segments. The employer and employee may also agree that the employee will take a holiday exceeding 12 weekdays in one or more segments.

Only weekdays are counted as holiday days. The Annual Holiday Act defines weekdays as days of the week from Monday to Saturday. Sundays, church holidays, Independence Day, Christmas Eve, Midsummer Eve, Easter Saturday and May Day are not weekdays. The collective agreement applicable to the employer may contain provisions deviating from the above. For instance, some collective agreements specify that weekdays from Monday to Friday count as holiday days.

Postponing and saving up annual holiday

An agreed annual holiday may be postponed due to incapacity for work. If an employee, at the start of his or her annual holiday, is incapacitated because of childbirth, illness or accident, the employee has the right to postpone the holiday from the first day of illness. The request to postpone an annual holiday must be made to the employer without delay, and the employee must present a reliable account of his or her incapacity for work (normally a medical certificate).

When an employee is taken ill during his or her annual holiday the right to postpone the holiday starts only after possible waiting days. The waiting days apply to holidays exceeding four weeks and the maximum amount of waiting days is six. The waiting days must not decrease the employee’s right to a four-week annual holiday. The amount of days of holiday must correspond to the normal working days of the employee. When an employee who normally works from Monday to Friday is incapacitated from Thursday to Saturday, the amount of days to postpone is two.

The employer and employee may agree to postpone some of the employee’s holiday days to the following holiday season or save them up to be taken in subsequent holiday seasons. In any event, 18 days of annual holiday must be taken during the relevant holiday season; the remaining holiday days may be postponed or saved up.

If an employee takes 24 days of holiday during the holiday season, he/she may save up his/her remaining holiday days for use in the following years, provided that this does not cause undue disruption to the production and service operations of the workplace. This practice is known as carried-over holiday.