Holidays and Holiday pay

Every year, questions are raised concerning the holidays and holiday pay. We give you the answers.

The Norwegian Annual Holiday Act regulates workers’ rights to vacation and holiday pay. The right to holiday leave does not necessarily correspond with the right to holiday pay. One can thus be entitled to vacation without being entitled to holiday pay, and vice versa.

All workers have the right and obligation to be on holiday each year. The Annual Holidays Act entitles workers to a vacation of 25 workdays each holiday year. Saturday is considered a workday. For an employee with a working week of five days, this means that the worker is to vacation for four weeks plus one day per calendar year. A fifth holiday week has, however, been introduced in many employment contracts. Employees who turn 60 during the holiday year is entitled to an additional holiday on the six working days.

The timing of the holiday is determined unilaterally by the employer, but the employees must be informed and consulted in advance of the holiday. The employee is entitled to 18 connected working days of the holiday within the period 1 June to 30 September each year, and that the remainder of the holiday is taken continuously during the holiday year. Special rules apply among others for vacation during the notice period, in sickness related situations in connection with the vacation and during parental leave.

Unlike the right to vacation, the right to holiday pay depends upon whether the employee has earned the right to this. Holiday pay is earned in the calendar year preceding the year in which the holiday is taken out (“qualifying year”). Holiday pay amounts initially to 10.2 percent of the employee pay, but is generally agreed to 12 percent for employees with a contractual fifth holiday week. For workers who turn 60 during the holiday year, the holiday pay amounts to 12.5 percent of the employee pay (alternatively 14.3 percent for employees with a contractual fifth holiday week), however, the elevated percentage is not paid for income more than six times the National Insurance Scheme’s Basic Amount.

The rules on holiday and holiday pay may in individual cases be difficult to practice, and questions often occur relating to, among other things, the unrolling of the holiday, the calculation of holiday pay and how agreements on additional vacation should be understood. We will happily assist you to solve your questions.