EU raise doubts over Danish holiday law

The European Commission states citizens have the right to four weeks paid holiday each year – something Danish law prohibits in certain circumstances

Danish holiday rules might be in violation of European law, claims the European Commission.

According to the EU, each citizen should be entitled to a minimum of four weeks paid holiday each year. In Denmark however, certain circumstances prevent workers from going on a paid holiday in the year they accrued it.

A person starting a new job in Denmark accrues holiday pay that can only be used in the following holiday-year, which starts in May. If the person has no holiday pay saved up from a previous job, that person will not be allowed to go on a paid holiday until the following year. In some cases this can mean a period of up to a year without a paid holiday.   

In a formal notice sent to the Danish parliament on September 25, the European Commission accuses the Danish scheme to be in violation of the European working-time directive.

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Two months notice
The Danish government have been given two months to prepare a written reply in response to the notice.

"I can confirm we have received a formal notice regarding Danish holiday rules, and that all parties have been notified," said employment minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen, in an email to Altinget

"The government is currently preparing a written reply. I will say no more until we know more regarding the case."