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Your right to holiday

Your holidays are your opportunity to rest and recover. Employee holiday rights are regulated both in the Leave Act and in collective agreements and as soon as you start a job, you start earning your holiday days.

It is unfortunately common for members not to take time off for holidays. It is vital that you do not work when you have holiday but take the time off to rest and recover so that you can perform at your best the rest of the year.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the insurance policies that cover you at the workplace and when travelling to and from the workplace may not provide cover if an accident occurs when you are at the workplace during your holiday leave. It is therefore important to notify your employer in advance that you may need to visit the workplace during your holiday to carry out certain tasks and that they will then certify that you were in work if something happens. It is a good idea to supplement insurance cover by taking out insurance through Folksam. This accident insurance provides cover 24 hours a day.

Government employee holiday entitlement is regulated in the Villkorsavtal-T Agreement and in local collective agreements.

Doctoral candidates with scholarship are not employees so cannot take out holiday days in the sense stated in the Holidays Act. Even so, it is important to organise work in such a way that longer periods of rest and recovery are possible.

Number of holiday days

The Leave Act guarantees 25 holiday days per year. However, through the Villkorsavtal-T Agreement Collective Agreement, government employees are entitled to more days according to the table below:

Up to the age of 29: 28 holiday days
From the year you become 30: 31 holiday days
From the year you become 40: 35 holiday days

Earning year and holiday year

The earning year is the year employees qualify for holiday days and the holiday year is the year in which days are taken. For government employees, the earning year and the holiday year are the same as the calendar year. Consequently employees’ periods of employment during the current calendar year form the basis of their holiday entitlement in this calendar year.

This may affect how many paid holiday days an employee is entitled to. For example, an employee who begins work half way through the year is entitled to fewer paid holiday days than an employee who began at the start of the year. In such cases however, employees are entitled to unpaid holiday days.

Saved holidays

If for any reason employees do not wish to take all of their earned holiday days, it is possible, under certain circumstances, to save holiday days. In order to be able to save holiday days, employees must be entitled to more than 20 paid holiday days per year and must, in addition, have taken out at least 20 of the year’s holiday days. A maximum of 30 holiday days may be saved.

When holiday days may be taken

The employer determines how holiday days may be taken throughout the year. This must be planned, however, taking employee preferences into consideration. Unless otherwise agreed, Section 12 of the Leave Act, which states that employees are entitled to a continuous leave period of at least 4 weeks in the period June to August, applies.

There are local collective agreements at many universities that regulate holidays for university teachers in the form of standard holiday periods. Standard holiday periods state that, unless otherwise agreed, university teachers’ entire annual holiday is to be taken within the standard period beginning on the first Monday after the midsummer holiday. Contact your local union representative to find out more about holiday periods at your university.

Holiday pay and holiday increment

The Villkorsavtal -T Agreement entitles employees to holiday pay at a level equivalent to current salary plus a holiday increment. The holiday increment consists of:

  • 0.49 per cent of the current fixed salary at the point in time the holiday is taken for each paid holiday day plus
  • an amount equivalent to 0.48 per cent for each paid holiday day multiplied by the sum of any variable salary increments that have been paid to the employee in the year before the holiday year and in which holiday increment is not already included.

Holiday compensation

Employees who terminate their employment at a university before taking out all paid holiday days are entitled to be paid holiday compensation by the university.

Holiday compensation is paid out as an amount for each unused holiday day of 4.6 per cent of fixed salary per month at the point in time of termination of employment, plus holiday increment.

For Saco-S members only, the holiday increment has been increased in accordance with the Villkorsavtal -T Agreement to 0.49 per cent per holiday day and in accordance with the AVA-T Agreement to 0.70 per cent per holiday day.

Individual agreements

It is possible for employees to conclude individual agreements on numbers of holiday days and the entitlement to take holiday for parts of days. Read more about individual agreements.

The timing of holidays may be regulated for those who are teachers or doctoral candidates at a state university. This is normally done through a local working hours agreement for teachers.

Standard holidays

At many universities, there are standard holiday periods for students and teachers. This means that holiday is automatically taken during the summer, usually starting from the Monday after Midsummer, unless you come to an agreement otherwise in writing.

It is not unusual that information provided is inadequate as to what standard holiday means and the fact that you must apply to take your holidays at another time in order to prevent it being automatically scheduled in the summer.

Be aware that your local working hours agreement for teachers states standard holidays, especially if you are a doctoral candidate. Sometimes doctoral candidates miss out on taking their holiday as they work through the summer, unaware that the standard holiday applies.

To find out about how the standard holiday applies at your university, please contact your local
Saco-S association or the university human resources department.