Trade union fears holidays are under threat from Supreme Court decision – The Post

Trade union fears holidays are under threat from Supreme Court decision

Employment contracts can restrict statutory regime in employers’ favour

Court: contract trumps legislation (photo: iStock)
August 18th, 2015 5:11 pm| by Philip Tees

Even though many Danes returning to work may wish they were still on holiday, most recognise that their holiday entitlement is generous when put into an international context.

But a recent judgement by the Supreme Court could jeopardise employees’ enviable vacation privileges, Avisen.dk reports.

READ MORE: Every third Dane suffering from the post-holiday blues 

The court decided in favour of an employer who wrote rules into an employement contract that differed drastically from those in the holiday law (Ferieloven), which ostensibly sets out the holiday regime for all workers.

The case concerned an employee being fired and forced to take all of her holiday leave during her notice period.

The holiday law states that employees must be given at least three months’ notice if they are required to take their main holiday, but in this case the court found the company was entitled to give just one month’s notice because that was the period prescribed in the employment contract.

“It’s beneath contempt,” said Ulla Jeppesen, the head of the IT, media and industry division at the trade union HK, of which the plaintiff in the case is a member.

“This leaves the door wide open for employers. We fear that in the future they will start writing this kind of thing into employment contracts all over the place. In this way it undermines the intention of the law.”