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Public sector employees taking off time

Due to the Prime Minister urging that public sector employees should also take off time during the period in which they are sent home, the parties representing the public sector have entered into an agreement on taking five days off in connection with the management of Covid-19.

The purpose of this agreement is to contribute to putting public workplaces in a better position in relation to handling the backlog of work once the situation reverts to normal.
This means that public sector employers can require employees to take holiday, to flex, take time off in lieu, etc. by providing one day’s notice.

The general contents of the agreement are:

That employees who do not perform duties by agreement with their manager must take up to five days off during the period 28 March - 13 April. To "perform duties" also includes being available.

That both holiday, special holidays, time off in lieu, etc. may be used. Employees may wish to use personal and/or senior days. The type of time off taken is agreed upon by you and your employer. Time off is taken in whole days.

That taking three days’ off on the days 6 - 8 April is encouraged and, moreover, that the remaining two days is taken in week 16 (in the state sector also in week 14).

That time off already taken in the period 13 - 27 March is included when the five days’ time off is calculated.

That, after consultation between you and your employer and by providing a day’s notice, planned time off in the period 14 - 30 April may be moved forward to the period up to and including 13 April. If this entails expenses for you, such as cancellation of trips, you must be indemnified in accordance with the general principles of Danish legislation on compensation.

That you do not perform duties on days when you take time off.

What if I have not earned holidays or special holidays for the current holiday year or have not accrued any other right to time off?

If you do not have holidays or special holidays/6th week holiday to be held during the current holiday year (which runs until 30 April 2020), you cannot be required to take holiday or special holiday. Thus, it is not possible for public sector employers to require that individual employees take holiday which is to be taken during the next holiday year, which starts on1  May 2020.

Also, you cannot be required to take time off in lieu or to flex if you have not accrued this type of time off.

What if I have planned to transfer holiday to the next holiday year?

As the transferred holiday has been accrued to be taken in the current holiday year, as part of the new agreement, you may be required to take this holiday. However, we encourage that an agreement is reached based on a dialogue between you and your employer.

What is my employer requires me to take holiday which we had agreed was to be transferred and I have already bought a trip?

If you have agreed with your employer to transfer holiday from the current holiday year and you have purchased and paid for a trip that you now need to cancel, your employer must compensate you for any financial loss (this follows from the Danish Holiday Act). We encourage you to enter into a dialogue with your employer to find a solution which means that you can still take the agreed holiday and go on your trip.

However, you should be aware that there is a difference between the employer’s duty to compensate for any loss depending on whether it is a matter of holiday or other entitlement to time off. Thus, you will not be entitled to compensation for the loss of expenses associated with a trip if your employer brings forward agreed time off in lieu, flexing, etc.

What I if have signed up to be available for critical duties which are beyond the scope of my collective agreement – can I then also be required to take time off?

No, if you are available, then you cannot also be required to take time off.