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Home The summer holiday season is approaching – remember these things about holidays and holiday pay

The summer holiday season is approaching – remember these things about holidays and holiday pay


  • Employment contract
  • Labour law
  • Part-time job
  • Salary

Summer will soon be here and for many of us that means either a longer or shorter holiday. Find out what you need to know about accumulating and taking holidays, and about the compensation you will be paid during your holiday.

How much summer holiday can you take?

Summer holiday is part of annual holiday, which is earned in advance during the leave year (1 April to 31 March). Most of the annual holiday is therefore earned in the previous calendar year. If you have been employed for less than a year in a single period by the end of the holiday year (i.e. 31 March), you will have accumulated 2 days of holiday for each full month. If you have been employed for a year or more by the end of March, you will have accrued 2.5 days of holiday per month.

As a rule, holiday is not transferable from one employer to another. If your employment relationship ends, you will normally be paid holiday compensation for untaken holidays. In your new job, you start accumulating annual holiday again from zero.

So if your employment is very recent, you may not yet have had time to accumulate holiday days. However, it is worth talking to your employer or your manager about the possibility of taking some paid holiday in the first summer. It is a good idea to raise this issue before you sign the contract.

You can also ask your employer for unpaid holiday. Especially if your previous job paid holiday compensation, you should consider this option.

Do you accumulate holiday days when working part-time?

According to the Annual Holidays Act, holiday accumulates for the full holiday accumulative months. A full holiday entitlement month is a month in which you have worked at least 14 days. If you work part-time and do not accumulate any months with 14 working days or only part of the calendar months have 14 working days, a full holiday month is a month in which you have worked at least 35 hours.

Under the Annual Leave Act, you do not accrue annual holiday for part-time work if you work either less than 14 days or less than 35 hours per month. However, in this case, you will still accumulate two working days off for the calendar months in which you are employed. In practice, this means that you are entitled to two days off per month of work if you so wish.

What about a fixed-term contract?

As a fixed-term employee, you normally earn annual holiday for the duration of your employment. If your employment relationship continues with the same employer after the fixed-term contract, with no or only a short break, it is considered to be a single period of employment for the purposes of counting holiday days.

In particular, in shorter fixed-term contracts, such as summer jobs, holidays are not usually taken, but are paid as holiday compensation when the employment relationship ends.

For more information on the accumulation of annual holidays, for example during sick leave, click here.

When can you go on holiday?

The Annual Leave Act allows your employer to decide when you take annual holiday. However, the employer must give you the opportunity to express your opinion on the timing of your holiday and must take your wishes into account as far as possible. The employer must also ensure fairness between employees.

When you have earned enough holidays, you are entitled to take 24 working days of your annual holiday during the holiday period (2.5.-30.9.). The remaining days (winter holidays) must be taken by the beginning of the next holiday period.

You must have at least 12 working days (Mon-Sat) of uninterrupted holiday. You are entitled to have a single period of summer and winter holiday, unless it is necessary to divide the part of the summer holiday exceeding 12 working days into several periods in order to keep your work going.

Read more about the timing of annual holiday.

Do you get paid for the holiday and how much?

By law, you are also entitled to be paid during your holiday. Your holiday pay depends, among other things, on the type of pay system you have in your employment relationship. As a general rule, you will be paid your holiday pay before your holiday starts, but in practice it is paid on the normal salary payment day during your holidays. You will also receive a separate calculation of your holiday pay. Always remember to check that it is correct!

Read more about how holiday pay is accumulated.

What is holiday bonus and when can you get it?

You may be entitled to holiday bonus in addition to your holiday pay. Holiday bonus is either based on a collective agreement, an employment contract or a policy at your workplace. It is paid either with your holiday pay before or after your holiday, depending on the agreement.

How much is holiday bonus and can it be exchanged for time off? Find out more!

Note! The Annual Holidays Act is a general law that applies to employees who are in an employment or service relationship. Your collective agreement may contain provisions that differ from the annual holiday law, for example, on the payment of holiday pay and compensation and the holiday period. For more information, click here.