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AAU Handbook

Holidays

Published: 22.12.2017 (Last revised: 24.09.2018)

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Content

Accrual

All salaried staff members at Aalborg University accrue holiday entitlement regardless of their rate of employment. All full-time salaried staff members accrue 2.08 days of paid holiday per month of employment, so that in the case of continuous employment at AAU for a full year of accrual, staff members will accrue 25 days/five weeks of paid holiday. The year of accrual follows the calendar year from 1 January to 31 December. 
Staff members who are employed by AAU as of 1 July will, between 1 July and the New Year (i.e. six months), accrue 12.5 days of paid holiday, which can be taken the following holiday year.

Paid holiday is accrued during employment, as well as during certain periods of absence where staff members receive full or partial pay from AAU such as during sickness absence, holiday, maternity/paternity leave, etc. During periods of unpaid leave, staff members accrue paid holiday entitlement for the first six months. However, this holiday entitlement depends on the staff member returning to work and taking holiday in the current holiday year, and the staff member not having undertaken any other paid work during the period of leave. No days of extra holiday entitlement are accrued during periods when staff members participate in strikes or lockouts.

For new staff members at AAU, the HR Department calculates the holiday entitlement accrued through paid work in Denmark prior to employment at AAU.

Please note that special rules apply for hourly paid staff and trainees.

Taking holiday

Holiday must be taken during the holiday year, which runs from 1 May to 30 April in the following calendar year. This means that an entitlement to paid holiday or holiday pay accrued in the year of accrual from 1 January to 31 December 2017 must be taken during the corresponding holiday year that runs from 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019.

at AAU, the holiday year is divided into a main holiday period and a remaining holiday period. The main holiday period falls between 1 May to 30 September. During this period, staff members are entitled to take three weeks of holiday. The remaining holiday period runs from 1 October to 30 April. Generally, staff members should be allowed to take holiday in unbroken periods of at least five days during this period; however, holidays may also be taken as individual days.

All staff members are entitled to take 25 days of holiday a year, whether or not they have accrued paid holiday/holiday pay. Thus, staff members who have not accrued paid holiday may take holiday without pay, which means that the days of holiday taken will be deducted from their pay. In such cases, staff members are advised to find out whether they are entitled to holiday benefits from their unemployment insurance fund. 

Holiday allocation

Days of holiday can be taken as full weeks or as individual days. The individual staff member and their line manager make an agreement about the allocation of holidays. The AAU management encourages all staff members to take their accrued holiday during the holiday year. The holiday planning is therefore based on advance scheduling, see Rules on taking holiday at Aalborg University.

As a rule, staff members determine whether they wish to take holiday; however, managers can insist that staff members take holiday if they have accrued holiday entitlement either as paid holiday or with holiday pay from a holiday certificate. If so, staff members must be notified individually, except in such cases where an enterprise closes down for holidays, which is the case at Aalborg University between Christmas and New Year. Notifications concerning the taking of main holidays are subject to three months’ notice, while notifications concerning the taking of remaining days of holiday are subject to one months’ notice.

Staff members who have fallen ill at the beginning of the day on which a planned holiday is due to commence can either postpone the holiday on the grounds of sickness or take the holiday. Staff members who do not wish to take the holiday must report in sick as per the general rules applying under their contract of employment. If staff members recover from an illness before the end of the planned holiday, they must, when reporting fit for work, inform their manager whether the remaining holiday will be taken, or whether they intend to return to work. However, staff members are only entitled to take the remaining days of the already planned holiday and not the replacement holiday. Staff members who fall sick after their holiday has started may be granted replacement holiday. See more in the section on replacement holiday.

Holidays for staff members with weekly non-working days

Holiday must be taken based on five days per week to the effect that non-working days and shift days are included in the holiday by a proportionate number of days. This is relevant for staff members working reduced hours, and who have organised their work so that they have one or more non-working days a week. The rules also apply to days of special holiday.

Example 1:

A staff member works 29.6 hours a week. The staff member works 7.4 hours a day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and has Friday off.
If holiday is taken as full weeks, five days are registered for each week of holiday which is taken.
If holiday is taken as individual days, for each four working days (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and/or Thursdays) which are registered, one day of holiday must also be registered on a Friday, where the staff member usually has the day off.

Example 2:

A staff member works 15 hours a week. The staff member works five hours a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and has Tuesday and Thursday off.
If holiday is taken as full weeks, five days are registered for each week of holiday which is taken.
If holiday is taken as individual days, for each three working days (Mondays, Wednesdays and/or Fridays) which are registered, two days of holiday must also be registered on a Tuesday and/or Thursday where the staff member usually has the day off.

Notification about additional holidays (unpaid leave)

If staff members wish to take holidays in addition to their holiday allowance (25 days accrued at AAU, accrued elsewhere or without pay), the Salary Office must be notified either by mail (please note that it concerns holidays in addition to the annual holiday allowance) or by filling in the following form. Please note that additional holidays cannot be registered in ScanPas.

Carrying holiday forward

As of 1 January 2018, staff members at AAU may carry forward a total of up to five days of holiday and days of special holiday a year; see The Main Joint Consultation Committee’s statement on carrying forward ordinary and special holidays. Such holidays must be taken during the holiday year to which they have been carried forward, so that staff members do not accumulate more than five days to be carried forward each year.In other words, if a staff member carries forward five days of holiday including special holidays from the 2017/2018 holiday year to the 2018/2019 holiday year, all this holiday must be taken in the 2018/2019 holiday year.

When can holiday be carried forward?

The rules and possibilities for carrying forward remaining holiday only apply in the case of holiday which has been accrued through employment at AAU or with another Danish employer. Moreover, it is a requirement that at least 20 days of paid holiday and/or holiday pay on a holiday certificate have been accrued, and that it is only days over and above these first 20 days which can be carried forward. 

Staff members who have accrued ten days of holiday through previous employment and 12 days at AAU will thus be able to arrange for the carry forward of two days. Staff members who have accrued 17 days of holiday at AAU but none through previous employment will not be able to carry forward any holiday.

If a staff member has accrued 25 days of holiday and carried forward five days from the previous holiday year, the staff member has a total of 10 days of holiday in excess of the 20. However, at AAU it is not possible to carry forward more than five days, except in special situations, in which case it must be approved by the staff member’s manager. The staff member must instead make sure to take 25 days of holiday after which five days may be carried forward to the next holiday year.

The 20-day requirement can only be deviated from if the staff member has been prevented from taking holiday under the applicable rules. Likewise, it is possible to carry forward more than five days if the untaken days of holiday have accumulated because it has not been possible for the staff member to take holiday. You can read more about being prevented from taking holiday below.

The carry forward of holiday is conditional upon an individual agreement being made between the staff member and their manager. Neither the manager nor the staff member can thus individually decide that holiday must be carried forward.

When should the carry forward of holiday be agreed?

Agreements on carrying forward holiday must be made no later than 30 September in the calendar year in which the holiday year ends, but we recommend that you make an agreement by 1 May. The agreement must be submitted by 1 October at the latest to the HR Department, who approve all agreements made at the University. Please contact the person responsible for holiday registration in your unit/manager or the HR Department well in advance if you have any questions about the possibilities for carrying forward days of holiday. 

An agreement on carrying forward holiday between the staff member and their manager is made by completing and signing the HR Department’s form ‘Agreement on carrying forward ordinary and special holiday’. The form must be forwarded to your local HR Service Centre no later than 20 April.

How to take holiday which has been carried forward

If staff members have made an agreement with their manager on carrying forward days of holiday to the following holiday year, the holiday must be planned in advance according to the Rules on taking holiday at Aalborg University. When you fill in the form for carrying forward ordinary and special holiday, you will also need to fill in the dates you wish to take these days of holiday.

Holiday which has been carried forward must be taken before holiday belonging to the present holiday year. Except where specific rules have been agreed in writing, notice of the taking of holidays which has been carried forward must be given in accordance with the rules for main holidays.

Pay

How are staff members paid during holiday?

Staff members who have accrued paid holiday from AAU receive their salary plus special holiday pay of 1.5 per cent when they take holiday. The special holiday pay is paid as a lump sum together with the monthly salary for April following the year of accrual. Staff members who take days of holiday accrued on a holiday card or non-accrued days of holiday without pay will have these days deducted from their next salary payment.

For staff members whose rate of employment at the time of taking holiday differs from their rate of employment during the year of accrual, their pay is based on the fraction corresponding to the average number of hours worked per week in the year of accrual.

How are staff members paid when taking holiday which has been carried forward?

Staff members who have accrued paid holiday from AAU will receive their normal monthly salary in the month they take holiday which has been carried forward.

However, the 1.5 per cent special holiday pay is not paid when taking holiday which has been carried forward, as the special holiday payment is always disbursed in the respective holiday year(s) in which the holiday should have been taken.

Staff members who have not accrued paid holiday from AAU, but from another Danish employer, will receive their holiday allowance (from their holiday certificate) when they take holiday.

Disbursement of untaken holiday

To a some extent, staff members may receive their holiday pay for holiday which has not been taken at the end of the holiday year, even in such cases where staff members have not been prevented as such from taking holiday.

Staff members will automatically receive a holiday allowance corresponding to the value of any untaken days of holiday if

  • the amount is DKK 2,250 (after tax and labour market contributions) or less, and if
  • the amount relates to holiday in excess of 20 days (the fifth week of holiday), and if
  • no agreement has been made for the days to be carried forward.

If the above conditions are met, AAU/AAU’s holiday fund will disburse the amount automatically before 15 June following the end of the holiday year.

Staff members must request that any untaken holiday be paid out if:

  • the amount exceeds DKK 2,250 (after tax and labour market contributions), and if
  • the request is made by 30 September following the end of the holiday year, and if
  • the amount relates to holiday in excess of 20 days (the fifth week of holiday), and if
  • no agreement has been made for the days to be carried forward.

Read more about applying for disbursement of holiday allowance in the following section.

Former staff members can apply to have their holiday pay paid out, regardless of amount, at the end of a holiday year.

Application for disbursement of holiday allowance

An application to have the remaining days of holiday paid out must be made using a special form from the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment. It is only possible to apply for disbursement in the period 1 May to 30 September following the end of the holiday year. If the application is not submitted within this period, the staff member loses the right to receive any payment for untaken days of holiday. The special application form is made available in the May following the end of the holiday year. You can find the application form via lifeindenmark.borger.dk.

Non-Danish nationals who do not have NemID cannot apply online, but may fill in this form.

Please note that enquiries and applications for disbursement of untaken holiday must be made to the employer/administrator holding your remaining holiday/holiday pay. You must therefore contact the HR Department if you are entitled to pay during your remaining days of holiday. If your holiday certificate has been issued by Aalborg University’s holiday fund, you must contact Aalborg University, Salary Office, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7F, DK-9220 Aalborg Ø. If it has been issued by another employer/holiday pay administrator, you must contact them.

Please note the various deadlines applying so you are not too late in submitting your requests. 

Prevented from taking holiday

Normally, specific rules determine the number of days of holiday you can carry forward from one holiday year to the next, and the possibilities for having any untaken days of holiday disbursed at the end of the holiday year are also limited. However, if you are prevented from taking your holiday, special terms apply.

What can prevent you from taking holiday?

Several factors may prevent you from taking holiday. The general rule is that special circumstances must prevent you from taking holiday at the start of normal working hours on the first day of the holiday. Typical examples of circumstances that prevent staff members from taking holiday are if they are sick or on parental leave. Staff members may also be prevented from taking holiday as a result of doing national service, looking after a close relative who is ill/dying or because they are abroad (if the staff member is not covered by the holiday agreement while abroad) as well as other specific situations.

Which circumstances do not prevent you from taking holiday?

The general rule is that staff members are only prevented from taking holiday if the given circumstances relate exclusively to the staff members themselves. Thus, staff members are not necessarily prevented from taking holiday if their child or spouse falls ill. Moreover, staff members are not prevented from taking holiday if, following parental leave, they have returned to work on a part-time basis, as in these cases the staff member is still able to take holiday. Finally, staff members are not deemed to have been prevented from taking holiday if they have not been able to take holiday due to pressure of work/problems fitting in the holiday, or due to having spent a period of time abroad in connection with being employed at AAU.

What should staff members do if circumstances prevent them from taking holiday?

If it is established at the end of the main holiday period that a staff member has been prevented from taking all or part of their main holiday, the staff member in question and the management can agree to carry forward the holiday which has not been taken to the next holiday year, or that the holiday pay be disbursed in cash. If the staff member wishes to take the holiday later in the holiday year, the staff member does not need to do anything.

If it is established at the end of the holiday year that the staff member has been prevented from taking all or part of their remaining holiday, the staff member in question and the management can agree to carry forward the holiday which has not been taken to the next holiday year, or that the holiday pay be disbursed in cash.

Requests to have holiday carried forward or disbursed after being prevented from taking holiday

If a staff member has been prevented from taking holiday, the staff member must complete a form requesting that the holiday be transferred/disbursed; the form is then sent to the HR Department. The form includes a guide stating at which time of year staff members may request to have their main holiday/remaining holiday carried forward or disbursed. The form is available here.

The HR Department must receive the application as soon as possible and no later than ten days after the end of the main holiday period and/or the end of the holiday year.

Replacement holiday

Staff members who fall ill after the start of their holiday are entitled to replacement holiday. Staff members who wish to exercise their right to replacement holiday must comply with the relevant requirements. This means:

On the first day of illness, the staff member must inform their employer of their illness. The staff member does so by informing the person who registers sickness at their department/unit as has been agreed at the place of employment. In case of doubt, staff members may contact their local HR service centre.

Staff members must obtain medical documentation, where the stated period includes the first day of illness (and stating the last day of illness if the staff member reports fit for work during the holiday). Staff member must bear the costs for the medical documentation, whether it be obtained in Denmark or from a doctor abroad. Such expenses are not refunded by AAU.

If the above requirements are not met, the staff member will lose the right to replacement holiday. 
It is the individual staff member’s responsibility to apply for replacement holiday if they are covered by the rules.

Moreover, a waiting period has been introduced so that staff members are not entitled to replacement holiday for the first few days of holiday, even if they are ill. Staff members who have accrued the full holiday entitlement (25 days) cannot be granted replacement holiday for the first five days of being ill. For staff members who have not accrued the full holiday entitlement, the waiting period will be proportionately shorter.

Example: A staff member has accrued a full holiday entitlement (25 days). The staff member takes their main holiday in the period Monday 2 July 2017 to Friday 20 July 2017, i.e. a total of 15 days. The staff member falls ill on Monday 9 July, informs the University and obtains medical documentation. By Monday 30 July (one week after the original planned holiday) the staff member has recovered from their illness. The staff member has thus been ill for 10 out of 15 planned days of holiday. No replacement holiday is granted for the first five days of illness (see above about the waiting period), but replacement holiday can be granted for the next five days of illness according to the replacement holiday rules.

Resignation

Staff members who resign from their position at Aalborg University (or are granted unpaid leave for an extended period of time), or switch from being a salaried staff member to being hourly paid will receive a holiday certificate from Aalborg University’s holiday fund covering the accrued holiday for taking in the current holiday year. Any accrued holiday for taking in the subsequent holiday year will disbursed on a holiday certificate from the holiday fund immediately before the start of this holiday year on 1 May.

Any days of holiday which have been carried forward are disbursed in cash to the staff member on the date on which the staff member ceases to work for the University. When staff members transfer to another job which is covered by the holiday agreement, the former staff member and the new employer may, however, make a written agreement to the effect that, instead of being disbursed, the holiday accrued at AAU is instead transferred to the new job as paid holiday.

When staff members switch from one salaried position to another salaried position at AAU, the holiday entitlement transfers to the new place of employment. Please note that the right to carry forward holiday, i.e. to take more than 25 days of holiday in a holiday year, lapses if the head of the new place of employment does not wish to uphold the former agreement concerning the carrying forward of holiday to the new place of employment. These days of holiday will instead be paid directly to the staff member.

Staff members who withdraw from the Danish labour market (retire, emigrate, etc.) will receive their holiday pay for any holiday which has not been taken with their final salary. In such cases, staff members must submit documentation well in advance to prove that they are withdrawing from the Danish labour market to the HR Department, who processes resignations at Aalborg University. Read more about the rules for the transition to retirement, work alongside pension, etc. at lifeindenmark.borger.dk

Special rules

Please note that special rules apply for trainees, hourly paid staff members and staff members who take concurrent holiday. Related documents attached.

Contact and responsibility

If you have any questiens, please contact your local HR-servicecenter or Stine Vestergaard, HR-department

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Related documents

Special holidays

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Concurrent holiday

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