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Taking off time in lieu

Find answers to whether your employer can require that you take off time in lieu.

Private sector employees

There is no general rule for providing notice to take time off in lieu. It depends on your employer's ability to - under normal circumstances – require that you take off time in lieu. Any requirement for giving notice may be specified in the applicable collective agreement, staff policy or the individual contract of employment. To a large extent, the employer is entitled to ask employees to take off time in lieu, if the employees have accrued a significant number of hours.

In connection with the three-party agreement on temporary salary compensation, it has been agreed that the individual employee for whom the company applies for salary compensation must take holidays and/or time off in lieu for a total of five days in connection with the compensation period. If the employee has not accrued or is not entitled to holiday or time off in lieu, etc. corresponding to five days, time off must be taken without pay or holiday from the new holiday year must be taken.

Specifically for public sector employees: The difference between time off in lieu and flex time

Based on the Prime Minister also urging public sector employees to take off time during the call for the release of public servants during the period when they are sent home, the parties representing the public sector 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. Learn more about the agreements to take time off.

You should be aware that there is a difference between ’flex time’ and ’taking time off in lieu’.

Thus, flex time comprises the hours that are included your own account of hours and which are determined on the basis of your self-organised working hours and which are regulated by your local flex-time agreement. Only the framework for your flex-time agreement is regulated by the collective agreement. The flex-time account and the employers' option to provide notice are not regulated by the collective agreement and, therefore, the employer may ask you to balance your flex-time account without further notice, if this is in accordance with your local agreement.

If, during this particular period, your employer needs the accrual and use of flexible hours to be performed in a different way than that stipulated by your local agreement, then we encourage this to be done on the basis of dialogue and negotiation.

When we speak of time off in lieu, we mean the hours that are calculated according to the current time standard for your area of employment. Often, this is a calculation of hours worked after each quarter. Calculated hours in addition to the average of 37 hours per week will be the hours that can be notified to be taken as time off in lieu according to the provisions of the collective agreement. There are differences in how the hours are calculated and we therefore recommend that you contact DM if you have any doubts about your employer's notification that you should take time off in lieu.

Stay updated here, as there may be changes to options to provide notice to take off time in lieu.

State sector employees

In normal circumstances, appropriate notice to take time off in lieu must be given to the employee; usually not less than 14 days. For the state sector, the Danish Employee and Competence Authority writes the following about taking time off in lieu in relation to the current situation with the corona virus outbreak:

"The Employee and Competence Authority recommends that your employer does not require you to take off time in lieu during the period in which you were sent home with pay. If your employer still considers that there are particularly weighty considerations that support you taking off time in lieu, notice of this should be given according to the rules of your employment relationship."

This interpretation of the rules is completely accepted by DM. The starting point is that you are available to your employer and, therefore, receive full pay and do not take time off in lieu. However, if your employer does not have duties for you while you are sent home and you are, thus, not available, then your accrued hours to take off in lieu may be put into play. However, the approach of DM is that if you have a clear agreement with your employer that your accrued time off should be e.g. an extension of your summer holiday and you have booked a long holiday on this basis, then this is a compelling reason for your employer NOT to be able to require you to take off time in lieu.

However, please be aware that if the period during which you are sent home is extended, the guidelines for time to be taken off in lieu may change.

If you do not have the option to take on duties or to be available because you have to look after your children, you may have to enter into an agreement with your employer to take off time in lieu and/or take holiday. We recommend that you consult with your employer to find the best solution.

However, you should be aware that an agreement has been reached on time off to be taken, including time off in lieu and flexing, corresponding to five days in the period up to 13 April 2020, and that notice to take time off in lieu under this agreement may occur by providing one day’s notice.

Regional sector employee

Notice to take time off in lieu may be given according to the provisions for this in the collective agreements which, in the regional sector means appropriate notice which is usually not less than 14 days. This applies to AC generalists, there are specific rules for specific professional groups within the regional sector.

Since the Danish regions have not clearly stated their position on this point, we handle it in the same way as within the state sector.

The starting point is that you are available to your employer and therefore receive full pay and do not take time off in lieu. However, if your employer does not have duties for you during the time when you are sent home and you are, thus, not available, then your accrued hours to take off in lieu may be put into play.

However, the approach of DM is that if you have a clear agreement with your employer that your accrued time off should be e.g. an extension of your summer holiday and you have booked a long holiday on this basis, then this is a compelling reason for your employer NOT to be able to require you to take off time in lieu.

However, please be aware that if the period during which you are sent home is extended, the guidelines for time to be taken off in lieu may change.

If you do not have the option to take on duties or to be available because you have to look after your children, you may have to enter into an agreement with your employer to take off time in lieu and/or take holiday. We recommend that you consult with your employer to find the best solution.

However, you should be aware that an agreement has been reached on time off to be taken, including time off in lieu and flexing, corresponding to five days in the period up to 13 April 2020, and that notice to take time off in lieu under this agreement may occur by providing one day’s notice.

Municipal employees

Notice to take time off in lieu may be given according to the provisions for this in the collective agreements which, in the municipal sector means appropriate notice which is usually not less than 14 days. This applies to AC generalists, there are specific rules for specific professional groups within the municipalities.

KL urges that time taken off in lieu is taken in dialogue with the individual employees and with consideration for the fact that, once the pandemic is over, work should be quickly resumed on full capacity.

The starting point is that you are available to your employer and therefore receive full pay and do not take time off in lieu. However, if your employer does not have duties for you during the time when you are sent home and you are, thus, not available, then your accrued hours to take off in lieu may be put into play. However, the approach of DM is that if you have a clear agreement with your employer that your accrued time off should be e.g. an extension of your summer holiday and you have booked a long holiday on this basis, then this is a compelling reason for your employer NOT to be able to require you to

However, please be aware that if the period during which you are sent home is extended, the guidelines for time to be taken off in lieu may change.

If you do not have the option to take on duties or to be available because you have to look after your children, you may have to enter into an agreement with your employer to take off time in lieu and/or take holiday. We recommend that you consult with your employer to find the best solution.

However, you should be aware that an agreement has been reached on time off to be taken, including time off in lieu and flexing, corresponding to five days in the period up to 13 April 2020, and that notice to take time off in lieu under this agreement may occur by providing one day’s notice.

Stay updated

Stay updated at coronasmitte.dk, where the relevant authorities provide ongoing updates on developments.

Learn more

Contact DM

Contact DM if you have questions relating to taking off time in lieu in connection with the corona virus.

Contact DM