Accrual of holiday and special holidays

Who is covered by the state holiday agreement

The holiday agreement applies for public servants, staff with public servant status and staff employed under a collective agreement, including trainees with a work placement agreement pursuant to the Danish Act on Vocational Education and Training.

Medical specialists are covered by the provisions of the holiday agreement concerning special holidays, but otherwise they follow the holiday rules in the collective agreement for medical specialists.

Hourly paid employees are governed by the Danish Holiday Act and the provisions of the holiday agreement concerning replacement holiday. Hourly paid employees entitled to full pay during illness are covered by the provisions of the holiday agreement on special holidays.

How much holiday do you earn

You earn 2.08 days of holiday per month of employment in the holiday year, which runs from 1 September to 31 August. This corresponds to 25 days of holiday - 5 weeks - per holiday year. You earn holiday regardless of the monthly number of hours you are employed for.

The days of holiday are earned at the end of the month and can be taken from the 1st of the following month. 

You also earn holiday while absent from work due to e.g.:

·        illness

·        maternity/paternity and adoption leave

·        taking holiday with pay, including special holidays

·        childcare days

·        child’s first and second day of illness

·        educational leave with full or partial pay


If you have unpaid leave, you will earn holiday during the first six months of the leave period, provided:

·        you return to work before the end of the holiday period in which the holiday has to be taken, and

·        the holiday is taken before the end of the same holiday period – unless the holiday is postponed under other provisions of the holiday agreement.

If you belong to one of the following groups, you will earn paid holiday:

·        Monthly paid employees, irrespective of the number of hours

·        PhD fellows on part B

·        Trainees; see separate section on trainees.


If you are employed under the terms below, you will not earn paid holiday:

·        Hourly paid employees (part-time lecturers, teaching assistants, student assistants, etc.)


Hourly paid employees receive a holiday allowance of 12.5 per cent of the pay earned in the year of accrual.

How many special holidays do you earn

You earn 0.42 special holidays for each month of employment in the calendar year. This corresponds to five special holidays per year. You earn the special holidays, regardless of the number of hours a month you work. 

Special holidays will be earned on an ongoing basis in the calendar year, but unlike the ordinary holiday days, you cannot take the special holidays on an ongoing basis. Special holidays will not be available until 1 May in the year after they are earned.

You will be paid a special holiday allowance twice a year

If you are a permanent employee on a monthly salary, you will be paid a special holiday allowance twice a year. The holiday allowance amounts to 1½ per cent of the salary you earned at the time of accrual.

You will receive the special holiday allowance together with your monthly salary for May (9 months) and August (3 months).

Please note that the holiday allowance in May 2021 will be less than normal, because 1 per cent of the holiday allowance has been frozen for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 August 2020.

Special days off for newly graduated academics

If you are a newly graduated academic covered by the Collective Agreement for State-Employed Academics, you are entitled to five days off with pay in your first year of employment.

The right to days off with pay for newly graduated academics applies if your employment started in the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 August 2020.

The right to five days off with pay applies in your first year of employment on the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations collective agreement where you are placed on the starting pay scale under the collective agreement. The right also applies if you are employed in a fixed-term position.

The right to days off with pay does not apply if you have earned holiday pay from a previous full-time employment of at least three months with another employer.

You can agree when to take the holiday with your immediate supervisor. The days must be taken as whole days and cannot be taken in hours.

If you do not use the five days off in your first year of employment, they will be lost. The same applies if you resign from your position at Aarhus University without having taken the days off.

The agreement on holiday for newly graduated academics applied from 1 April 2018 until the new Holiday Act came into force on 1 September 2020. If you were employed before 1 September 2020 and have been granted the five days off, these will not be revoked at the end of the agreement on 1 September 2020, but may be taken within the first year of employment.