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A new bill will make it possible for employers to postpone holiday in the holiday year 2019/2020 and holiday in the abbreviated holiday year from 1 May 2020 to 31 August 2020 to be taken in the subsequent holiday period.

The bill
The Danish Government has proposed a bill whereby employers will have the possibility to enter into individual agreements with employees on the postponement of holiday to be taken in the subsequent holiday period. The employers may also unilaterally order individual employees to postpone their holidays. 

The bill enables, in quite special circumstances, the postponement of holiday to be taken in the holiday year 2019/2020 for it to be taken in the abbreviated holiday year from 1 May 2020 to 31 August 2020. Similarly, any holiday to be taken in the abbreviated holiday year may be postponed for it to be taken in the holiday period from 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2021 in accordance with the rules laid down in the new Danish Holiday Act (ferieloven). 

The bill will comprise all employees, and the postponement of holiday may comprise any holiday which has not been taken close to 30 April 2020 or close to 31 August 2020.  

The right to postpone holiday to the subsequent holiday period applies only if it has been justified by so-called "material, unforeseeable operational considerations". It appears from the bill that the situation in question must be similar to that of force majeure. Consequently, it must have been unforeseeable for and beyond the control of the employer that the situation occurred, and it is required that it is the relevant employee to perform the work who has the holiday postponed. The considerations in question must be material to the operations of the undertaking. 


Temporary measure
The right to postpone holiday will be of a temporary nature, meaning that the bill will only apply to any holiday earned according to the applicable Holiday Act to be taken in the holiday year 2019/2020 and the brief holiday year from 1 May 2020 to 31 August 2020. 

Comments by Bech-Bruun
The proposed bill is primarily relevant to industries which are right now experiencing lack of manpower and in which a special need exists for maintaining sufficient labour resources at the workplace. This particularly applies to health authorities, the police and other public authorities performing additional work during the COVID-19 situation. The bill will, however, also be applicable to private undertakings either affected by illness and quarantine among employees or where it may be decisive to retain specific employees in order to secure operations. 

For more information
If you have any questions in respect of the bill on postponement of holiday, you are welcome to contact Lise Lauridsen, Morten Ulrich, Sandro Ratkovic or Thomas Christian Thune. You are also welcome to get in touch with your Bech-Bruun contact.