The Norwegian Holiday Act (Ferieloven) ensures that you as an employee receive the holidays and holiday pay that you are entitled to. Most of us have no desire to read through actual laws, so we have summarised the most important points to give you an overview of what the law entails.
The holiday year follows the calendar year. Holiday pay you accumulate in one calendar year will be paid out in the following calendar year. For example, the holiday pay you accumulate in 2022 will be paid out in June 2023. Those on a fixed monthly salary are usually deducted for 5 weeks holiday in June, i.e., the same month you receive the holiday pay from last year. You will then receive a normal wage in July and any other month you choose to take holiday and will not be deducted in these instances.
If you are working with an hourly rate, you will be deducted in pay when you are actually on holiday. For example, if you take 5 holiday days in April, you will only receive three weeks’ worth of pay that month.
Your employer is required to give you 25 holiday days in each calendar year if you have been employed with them since January. See the Holiday Act §5.3 for more information if you have not been employed in your current job since January.
If you turn 60 during the holiday year, you are granted 6 extra holiday days (one week).
You as an employee are to be notified about when holidays are to be taken as early as possible, and at least two months before the holiday starts.
You as an employee have the right to take your main holiday (comprised of 18 working days, i.e., 3 consecutive weeks) in the main holiday period: 1st June – 30th September.
You and your employer may form a written agreement that allows you to take up to 12 holiday days from the next calendar year in advance, or to transfer up to 12 holiday days into the next calendar year. Any holiday taken earlier or transferred beyond these 12 days cannot be agreed upon.
If you were to quit your job, then your employer is not allowed to change your holiday without your written permission. (There are some exemptions – check the Norwegian Holiday Act.)
If you are unable to work before your planned holiday, you have the right to delay your holiday to later in the calendar year.
How much holiday pay you receive depends on how much you have earned in the previous calendar year (work-related expenses that have been refunded do not count). This is particularly important to note if you are about to enter the job market. If, for instance, you start a new job 1st September, you will only receive holiday pay the following year based on 3 months salary (September to December). This is paid out the following June.
You as an employee are entitled to 10,2% holiday pay, but most people have 12% because we have 5 holiday weeks. For employees over 60, the rate is increased by 2,3%.
Holiday pay you have earned must be paid out no later than the last normal working day before your holiday starts. You as an employee can ask that your holiday pay be paid out up to a week before your holiday. If you holiday is split up, then you may split up the holiday money accordingly.
We hope that this has given you a good understanding of the Holiday Act. It’s important to note that the Holiday Act includes paragraphs that are triggered by “special circumstances”, including if employees are working in the maritime industry or on other rotational work. We therefore recommend that you consult the Act if you are unsure about something specific that we have not covered above. The Norwegian Holiday Act in full can be found here.