New Holiday Act: How to secure Christmas and the winter holidays

Do you know how to plan your holiday so that you can take both Christmas and the winter holidays off? Our legal advisor gives you an overview.

Have you just returned from your autumn break? Or did you skip it to have enough holidays saved up for Christmas and the winter holidays?

With the new Holiday Act, the holiday year starts on 1 September, and this has led to some confusion and a number of concerns. Because unless you carried over enough holidays from the last holiday year, you would not have earned enough holidays to take the autumn break off. And soon you will find yourself in the same predicament as the Christmas holidays approach.

But there is advice for that.

Read also: Transfer of holiday and holiday pay

Christmas and winter holidays: How to get enough holidays

Whether it's the winter, Christmas or autumn holidays, it is a general rule that you need to have earned enough holidays before taking your holiday. You earn 2.08 days of holiday at the end of each month. However, if you have not earned enough days to take your holiday, you can make a special agreement with your employer to take paid leave in advance.

It is a good idea to conclude such an agreement in writing. Please note, however, that employers are not obliged to enter into such an agreement.

Alternatively, you can top up with extra holiday entitlements (feriefridage), if you are entitled to these, or with time off in lieu.


It is the end of October 2021, and you have just gone 2.92 days in the red on your holiday account after a much-needed autumn break. During October and November, you will save 4.16 days, leaving you with 1.24 days of paid holidays on November 30.

But if you also want to take a holiday between Christmas and New Year 2021, you will need up to four days. You have 1.24 days of paid holiday ready and therefore need 2.76 days of holiday to take the Christmas holiday. You therefore agree with your boss that you take your holiday in advance. You accrue 2.08 days in December and the last 0.68 days of the 2.08 days you earn at the end of January.

On 31 January, you will have accrued 1.4 days of paid holiday and will have taken a total of 9 holidays in the new holiday year, which started on 1 September. Therefore, you still have 16 days left. This gives you a summer holiday of 3 weeks plus one extra day. It also means that if you want to take a winter holiday, you must have been granted 5 days off by collective agreement or other agreement.

Read also: remember to take your holidays before the end of the holiday year

Summer holiday: How to get enough days off for three weeks' holiday

You have a total of 25 days' paid holiday, which you must take during the holiday year plus the four months up to the end of the year. The holiday period we are currently in therefore runs from 1 September 2021 to 31 December 2022.

According to the Holiday Act, your main holiday - the 15-day summer holiday - must be taken consecutively between 1 May and 30 September.

However, you can again make an agreement with your employer, for example that you only use 10 days - but not less than that - and then save the last 5 days for later. These 5 days must be taken consecutively and you can then either use them to secure your autumn holiday in the next holiday year or use them at another given time before 31 December.

NOTE: If you resign from your position at a time when you have taken holiday in advance and have not yet earned the missing  holidays, your employer will be entitled to set off the holidays you have taken in advance in your salary / holiday payment.

Read also: rules for taking holidays