All employees are entitled to at least four weeks + one day of holiday every year. Employees aged 60 or over are entitled to an extra week. More holiday than that which follows from the law may be agreed. Many people are entitled to five weeks’ holiday through a collective agreement or other agreement with their employer.

Obligation to take holiday

As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your employees take all their statutory holiday during the holiday year. The holiday year follows the calendar year. Employers who do not ensure that their employees are given holiday risk being liable to pay compensation to the employees concerned. Employees are also obliged to take holiday. All statutory holiday which is not taken during the holiday year must be carried forward to the following holiday year. The holiday must be taken in holiday days, not money.

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority – Holiday

The Annual Holidays Act (in Norwegian only)

Scheduling of holiday and discussion of holiday lists

Employers and employees must discuss the scheduling of holiday and holiday lists well in advance of the holiday. If you are unable to reach agreement, you as employer will decide when the holiday is to be taken. However, all employees are entitled to at least three weeks' continuous holiday during the period 1 June - 30 September. The rest of the statutory holiday (1 week + 1 day) must also be continuous if the employee so wishes. Employees can ask to be informed of the scheduling of holiday at least two months before the holiday is due to start.

The Annual Holidays Act on the scheduling of holiday (in Norwegian only)

The Annual Holidays Act on holiday duration (in Norwegian only)

Holiday, part-time and shift work

Employees who work part-time or on shifts cannot request that their holiday only be scheduled on working days. For example, if an employee has one week's holiday, this will correspond to six working days (Saturday is counted as a working day in the Annual Holidays Act), regardless of whether the person only works two days during the week concerned.

Carry forward of holiday and the taking of holiday in advance

By agreement between the parties, up to two weeks of the statutory holiday may be carried forward to the following year. It is also permissible to take up to two weeks of holiday in advance. The rules concerning the carrying forward of holiday and advance holiday may be deviated from through a collective agreement or other agreement. Where holiday in excess of the statutory holiday is agreed, the employer and employee may also agree that the additional holiday can be carried forward to the following year.

Payment of salary in lieu of statutory holiday

It is not normally permissible to pay an employee salary instead of giving them statutory holiday. The exception is payment for holiday which is outstanding when an employee leaves.

Holiday with a new employer

Employees who do not take holiday during the current year before their employment ceases and move to a new employer before 30 September of the same year are entitled to take their remaining holiday with their new employer.

Further readings: 

Holidays during Illness, parental leave and layoff period

Holiday pay

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