Minimum holiday rights are laid down in the Holiday Act of 29th April 1988 No. 21. Derogation from the Act is only permitted in so far as the Act specifically provides. Any agreement which derogates from the Act to the detriment of the employee must be in writing.
Many collective agreements – including the Main Collective Agreement between LO and NHO – grant extended holiday rights.
The Norwegian holiday year runs from 1. January to 31. December.
2. ENTITLEMENT TO HOLIDAY LEAVE
2.1 Number of days
According to the Holiday Act, an employee is entitled to a minimum of 25 working days’ holiday leave per year.
For the purpose of the Holiday Act, “working days” are all days except Sundays and public holidays. Thus, an employee who works Monday to Friday will normally be entitled to 21 days free from work each calendar year in connection with holidays, plus public holidays.
Employees over 60 years of age are entitled to an additional 6 working days’ holiday leave.
An employee whose employment commences on or before 30th September is entitled to full holiday leave. An employee whose employment commences on or after 1st October is entitled to six working days’ holiday leave.
Public holidays in Norway are New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1st, May 17th, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In addition, offices close at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
There is no automatic right to transfer untaken holiday to a new employer or to carry over untaken holiday to the following year. An employer and an employee may, however, agree in writing – either in an individual or collective agreement – that up to 12 working days’ holiday can be carried over to the following holiday year.
2.2 Holiday leave irrespective of entitlement to holiday pay
Employees are entitled to holiday leave irrespective of whether they are entitled to holiday pay, see below.
An employee may, however, as a general rule refuse to take holiday leave to the extent that he is not entitled to holiday pay to compensate for loss of salary during holiday leave.
2.3 Length of holiday leave
As a general rule, an employee is entitled to 18 consecutive working days’ holiday leave during the period 1st June to 30th September.
An employee is also entitled to take the remaining (7 working days) holiday together.
2.4 Notice of holiday leave
The employer shall discuss the fixing of holiday dates and setting up of holiday lists with the employee or his representative in good time before holidays. If agreement is not reached, the dates shall be fixed by the employer.
An employee shall be notified of the fixed holiday dates as early as possible, and no later than 2 months before the holiday begins.
Changes may be made by the employer only if this is necessitated by unforeseen events. An employee is entitled to compensation for documented additional expenses resulting from such change in holiday dates.
Unless otherwise agreed, employees over 60 years of age are entitled to decide themselves when to take their additional holiday leave.
3. HOLIDAY PAY
3.1 Basis of calculation = previous year’s remuneration
Holiday pay for the current year is calculated on the previous year’s remuneration. Thus, an employee whose employment commences during 2022 is entitled to holiday leave during 2022, but not to holiday pay from his current employer.
Holiday pay for the current year is calculated on the previous year’s remuneration. Thus, an employee whose employment commences during 2022 is entitled to holiday leave during 2022, but not to holiday pay from his current employer. “Remuneration” is basically equivalent to the base salary. The basis of calculation does not include payments to cover expenses for car travel, board, lodgings etc. Nor does it include holiday pay paid during the qualifying year, share of net profits, regular payments earned and paid irrespective of absence due to holiday leave, nor the value of goods, services or other benefits other than payments in money. The value of full or partial board received as part of payment for work shall, however, be included in the basis for calculating holiday pay.
Special rules are applied to different kinds of bonuses.
3.2 Amount of holiday pay
Holiday pay amounts to 10.2 % of the previous year’s remuneration. 12 % is applied if 5 weeks holidays is agreed.
For employees over 60 years of age who are entitled to extra holidays, the rate is 12.5% on that part of the previous year’s remuneration that does not exceed 6 times the National Insurance basic rate (“G”). The current rate (2023) of “G” is NOK 111 477).
Holiday pay is normally paid on the last normal pay day before the holiday.
An employee may nevertheless demand payment of holiday pay at the latest 1 week before the beginning of the holiday.
If holidays are split, holiday pay shall be split correspondingly.
In practice, holiday pay is usually paid out in full on the June pay day, together with ordinary salary for the number of days in June that are not taken as holiday.
If holiday time is carried over to a following year, holiday pay in respect of the transferred holiday is only paid when the holiday is taken.
Holiday pay in respect of untaken and untransferred holiday is paid on the first normal pay day after the end of the holiday year (January pay day).
When employment is terminated, all holiday pay entitlements are to be paid on the last normal pay day before the post is vacated.