New formula provides a fairer way of calculating vacation

Starting as of 1 January 2021, an amendment to the Labor Code sets new rules for calculating employees’ claim to vacation, which will no longer be granted based on days worked but on actual hours worked.

The statutory minimum vacation entitlement of 4 weeks per year remains unchanged. As per the amendment, the vacation which an employee may take during a year equals the product of their weekly working hours and their annual vacation entitlement (for instance, at a 40-hour work week and 4 weeks of annual vacation, the employee is entitled to 160 hours per year; for a 50% part-time worker, it would be half that). For each full increment of their weekly working hours, employees are entitled to 1/52 of their vacation entitlement.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs hopes that the new rules will level the playing field in professions in which employees switch from full-time to part-time or vice versa in the middle of the year, or in which employees work varying amounts of hours on different days of the week, or in which employees alternate between what is known as short weeks and long weeks.

Employees who work eight hours a day from Monday through Friday won’t experience any change due to this amendment, and their vacation entitlement remains unchanged in scope.

Employees with a stipulated weekly amount of 40 working hours and have scheduled eight-hour shifts regularly from Monday through Friday, and who take vacation from Monday through Friday, thus „use up” 40 hours of vacation for such a week away from work.

Employees shall always take at least one contiguous half-day of vacation. Also, under the amendment, employees may only carry forward to the next year that part of their vacation which exceeds the statutory minimum of four weeks.

The new rules will be applied for the first time to vacation for the calendar year of 2021.

Source:Amendment to the Labor Code

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