How did you spend 2017?


The Vacation Act regulates vacation and the right to care leave
of employees.
The Holiday Act applies to employees
who have a private employment contract
have concluded with their employers.
The vacation law also applies to apprentices.


Here you will find information and explanations
on important terms and regulations
all about vacation.

Vacation pay

Vacation pay is the name for the money
that you get paid during your vacation:
Employees are entitled to
that they continue while on vacation
get their salary or wages paid.
Although they are not doing any work.

Vacation allowance

The holiday allowance is a 13th month's salary,
which is regulated in many collective agreements.

In collective agreements rules are summarized,
which apply to a specific occupational group.

Vacation entitlement and amount of vacation

Have for every year of work or vacation
Employees entitlement
on a paid vacation of 5 weeks.
With a 6-day working week this is 30 working days.
With a 5-day working week, this is 25 working days.

From the 26th year of service with the same employer
or the same employer
the entitlement increases to 6 weeks.
With a 6-day working week, that's 36 working days.
With a 5-day working week, this is 30 working days.

For the higher requirement of 6 weeks, one takes into account
but not just the length of service with the same employer
or with the same employer.
Other times are also taken into account.
This is called pre-employment credit.

Prior employment crediting

In many cases, workers must
do not wait 25 years for the higher vacation entitlement of 6 weeks.

Other times are also taken into account:

  • Service periods from previous employment relationships
    with the same employer.
  • Period of service in another previous employment relationship
    are credited to a certain extent.
  • Certain school times and periods of study
    are also credited to a certain extent.
  • But it will only be a specific one Maximum extent
    for all previous employment periods in total counted.


A person has after compulsory school and apprenticeship
9 years in her first employment relationship.
7 years of this can be credited.

The person has been in their second job for 18 years.
Together with the 7 years of previous employment, the 25 years have already been reached.
The person is now entitled to 6 weeks of vacation per year.

When does the vacation entitlement arise?

The vacation entitlement arises to the full extent
from the beginning of the new working year.
This is only different in the first year of service:
In the first 6 months, the entitlement arises on an aliquot basis.
Aliquot means pro rata, namely in relation to the length of service since joining.
One employee joined on June 1, 2019.
2 months later, on July 31, 2019,
has she worked out the vacation for 2 months:
25 days of annual entitlement / divided by 12 months times 2 months = 4.17 days

Vacation for part-time workers

Vacation entitlement applies to part-time employees
just like for full-time employees.
The vacation entitlement is in relation to the working hours.

Example 1:

A full-time worker works 5 full days a week.
She is entitled to 5 x 5 = 25 vacation days per year.
She continues to receive her full-time salary.

A part-time worker also works 5 days a week,
but only half a day at a time.
She is also entitled to 5 x 5 = 25 vacation days per year.
She continues to receive her half-day salary.

Example 2:

A part-time worker only works 1 day a week.
Your vacation entitlement is 5 weeks.
In your case this is 1 x 5 = 5 vacation days per year.

With a 2-day week there are 2 x 5 = 10 vacation days per year.
With a 3-day week there are 3 x 5 = 15 vacation days per year.
With a 4-day week there are 4 x 5 = 20 vacation days per year.

Vacation consumption

The time and duration of the vacation must be agreed:
Between the employee
and the employer.
You have to take into account the requirements of the company.
So what the company needs.
But also to the needs of the employee.

Basically, the vacation should be one working year
also be consumed in this working year.

It is important that the vacation really is agreed becomes.

The employer, the employer may
the employee
don't just send them on vacation.

But the worker
mustn't just go on vacation without authorization.

At the request of the employee
It is also possible to use the holiday on a daily basis.

Vacation consumption is also possible during a notice period,
when it is agreed.

Statute of limitations for vacation entitlement

Who his vacation from a working year
not used for a long time,
loses the vacation from this working year.
They say: The vacation entitlement is statute-barred.

The limitation period begins at the end of the vacation year,
in which the vacation originated.
It ends two years later.
Then this vacation is no longer available.


The employment relationship and thus the working year
starts on January 1st, 2016.
For the vacation entitlement of this working year
the limitation period begins on January 1, 2017.
It ends on December 31, 2018.

If the vacation from 2016
is not used by December 31, 2018,
is he gone.

The limitation period is extended accordingly,
if the employee
a parental leave according to the maternity protection law
or according to the Fathers Parental Leave Act.

Remaining vacation time not yet statute-barred

And what happens to an unused one
but not yet statute-barred remaining vacation?

This is automatically carried over to the next vacation year.

A vacation consumption will always be
deducted from the oldest vacation entitlement.


An employee does not yet have the entire annual vacation
from 2017 consumed. There are 5 days left.
They are not yet time-barred.
In 2018, there were 25 days of vacation entitlement,
but not been consumed.
Also in 2019, 25 days of vacation entitlement arose,
but not been consumed.
In the summer of 2019, the employee takes a long vacation
and consumes 30 vacation days.
So he uses the remaining 5 days from 2017,
also 25 days from the 2018 entitlement.
He still has 25 days of vacation entitlement from 2019 left,
which he can consume at a later point in time.

Sick while on vacation

Illness interrupts the vacation,
if it lasts longer than 3 calendar days.
The sick days that fall on working days,
then do not count as vacation days.
The vacation entitlement for these days remains.

The prerequisites for this:

  • The disease must not be intentional or grossly negligent
    be brought about.
    Example for "grossly negligent":
    The person drives the car drunk,
    causes an accident and injuries.
    The injury leads to sick leave.
    The sick leave is caused by gross negligence.
  • The employer receives this very quickly
    information about sick leave.
  • Submission of sick leave confirmation
    with the employer.
    As soon as you start work again.

Holiday compensation

The employment relationship ends, but leave is still open.
Then the employee has
Entitlement to compensation in money.

First you determine the proportional vacation entitlement
for the current vacation year.
The proportional vacation entitlement is explained in the next example.
The vacation that has already been taken is deducted from this.


  • The employment relationship began on February 1, 2014.
    The vacation from this working year has already been used up.
  • The current vacation year started on February 1, 2015.
  • The employer terminates the employment relationship
    as of October 31, 2015.
  • In this vacation year, 273 calendar days have passed,
    namely from February 1st to October 31st.
  • 8 vacation days have been used during this time.

First you calculate the aliquot - or proportional - vacation entitlement:

30 days of annual leave / divided by 365 days of the year,
times 273 calendar days of the vacation year.
The result is: 22.43 working days proportional vacation.

The 8-day vacation is deducted from this.

The result is: 14.43 working days

The holiday compensation is then calculated for these 14.43 days.

The holiday compensation is just as high as the holiday pay.

What happens if too much vacation is used up?

In most cases, the employee must
don't pay anything back for it.

Except in the case of unauthorized early exit
or in the event of a self-inflicted dismissal.

There is also an unauthorized premature exit
a holiday replacement benefit?


What happens to unused vacation from previous vacation years?

If the holiday has not yet expired,
holiday compensation is paid out for this.

Do you have to consume the vacation,
or can you get the money for it instead?

It sometimes happens
that someone does not want to spend vacation
and the vacation gets replaced in money.

But a vacation replacement during a regular employment relationship
is against the law and therefore not allowed.
It is also ineffective.
This means:
The employee has
still entitled to vacation,
for which he or she got the money.

What happens to the holiday compensation?
if the employee dies?

Then the heirs are entitled to it.

Agreements that deviate from vacation law

The provisions of vacation law are
good for workers.
They cannot be canceled by other agreements
or be restricted.

Only such agreements are permitted,
which are better for the employees.

Special vacation regulations for certain occupational groups

The Holiday Act applies, with minor deviations,
also for the following professional groups:

  • Journalists
  • Caretakers
  • House helpers
  • Domestic servants
  • Actresses and actors
  • Workers in the
    Agriculture and Forestry.

A other Vacation right,
which is regulated by special laws,
applies to these professional groups:

  • Workers in the construction industry
    The Construction Workers Vacation and Severance Pay Act applies to them.
  • Homeworkers
    The homework law applies to them.
  • Employment relationships with the federal government, states and municipalities
Last updated: December 19, 2019