Illness and holidays: The rules in Denmark

You may be entitled to compensatory leave if you become ill up to or during your holiday. Get answers to your questions here.

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Am I entitled to replacement holiday if I fall ill during my planned holiday period?

If you fall ill during your holiday from work, you are entitled to compensatory holiday from your employer.

The first 5 days per holiday year you are ill during holiday, you cannot be compensated, but thereafter you are entitled to compensation for the holiday. This means that you have the right to take your lost holiday days at a later date.

The right to compensatory holiday requires that you notify your employer that you are ill. It is therefore important to report sick to your employer as soon as you become ill.  

As a starting point, you must bring a doctor's note, medical record from the hospital or similar documentation for the illness. 

The doctor's statement must apply from the first day of illness, and you must pay for the statement yourself. If you fall ill while on holiday abroad, you must see a doctor to obtain a medical certificate or similar statement documenting the illness. 

Children's illness during holiday does not entitle you to compensatory holiday.

When am I ill during my holiday?

Do you need to be too ill to work or at the risk of infecting others before you are ill "enough"?

There is no official benchmark for how ill you must be to report sick. You know yourself best, and you are not required to tell your employer any details about your illness. 

Illness before the holidays: here are your rights

If you become ill before you go on holiday, you are not obliged to take a holiday. Instead, you have the right to take the holiday later. 

Note that if your work week is Monday-Friday and you fall ill over the weekend after leaving work on Friday, you are actually ill BEFORE the beginning of your holiday. The holiday begins at the beginning of working hours on the first holiday and ends at the end of work on the last holiday.

You need to report sick before your holiday begins (meaning before your working hours begin - for instance Monday morning) and let your employer know that you will not be using your holiday. You must report sick according to the rules of your workplace.

Illness and leftover holiday: here are your rights

Are you ill and were you meant to take a holiday before the holiday period ends on 31 December? You can then transfer up to 4 of your five weeks' accrued holiday - the fifth holiday week can either be paid out or transferred by agreement with your manager. You can only get paid for the weeks of holiday not taken if you have postponed the holiday in two following holiday periods, or you can choose to transfer the holiday for the 3rd time.

Payment of holiday with salary or holiday pay for non-taken holiday weeks requires that you have not had the opportunity to take the holiday in the last holiday period. If this is not the case, the holiday must be transferred again and you will not be entitled to payment.

Illness during the holidays: here are your rights

If you become ill during your holiday, you are entitled to compensatory holiday leave. The first 5 days of your holiday you can not get reimbursed, but after that you are entitled to compensation for the holiday.

If you take, for example, 1 week of earned holiday, and you fall ill on day 2, you cannot get the four remaining holiday days replaced, because they are part of the first five sick days without the right to compensatory holiday. If you then fall ill during your subsequent holiday in the same holiday year, you will not be compensated for day 1, because it is one of the first five holiday days. You will, however, be compensated for the other holiday days when you are ill.

To get compensatory leave, you must

  • report sick to the employer on your first sick day so that the employer knows that you cannot take your holiday. If your workplace is closed, you must be able to document when you called in sick, e.g. via email or text message.
  • send a medical certificate, medical record or similar documentation that is valid from the first day of illness. You must cover the costs of the medical certificate yourself.


You are only entitled to compensatory holiday after five sick days (severance days) during the holiday if you have been employed for an entire holiday year.

If you have not earned full holiday (25 days), when you fall ill during the holiday, your employer must reduce the 5 waiting days in relation to how long you have been employed, so that you can already get compensatory holiday after fewer than 5 sick days.

If you resign in the middle of a holiday accrual period (September 1 - August 31), the qualifying days must also be calculated in relation to how long you have been employed, and your employer must regulate the qualifying days accordingly, so that you can get compensatory holiday after fewer qualifying days.

What should I do if I get well again during the holiday?

If you are ill before or during your holiday, you must report to your employer if you get well again during the holiday.

When you call in sick, you must inform your employer whether you want to take the rest of your planned holiday, or whether you want to report to work again and postpone any holiday not taken until a later date.

Read more about your rights if you fall ill during the holiday at