Legal holiday entitlement: That is yours

The classic office job is Monday through Friday, week after week. So that you can not only recover from it on weekends, there is a statutory holiday entitlement . It guarantees you a payment while you recover from the stress of your daily work and recharge your batteries. How much vacation is yours? What should you pay attention to in case of illness? How does part time affect the calculation? Is there a legal vacation entitlement by age? These questions are clarified here ...

Legal vacation entitlement: What is it and for whom does it apply?
The basis of the legal vacation entitlement in Germany is the Minimum Leave Act, also known as the Federal Leave Act (BUrlG). It says directly in § 1 unequivocally:

Every employee is entitled to paid recreational leave every calendar year.

Thus the law applies indiscriminately to:

Interns (during voluntary internship)
Part-time employees
Employee- like persons (such as self-employed persons and freelancers , insofar as they are economically dependent on the company)
How the statutory holiday entitlement is designed in detail depends on various factors. The BUrlG only regulates the minimum claim . Accordingly, you have a legal holiday entitlement of 24 working days in a six-day work week .

Working days means all days except Sundays and public holidays. The law came into force on 1 January 1963, at that time it was assumed that six working days . Later, a pro rata conversion was made, as most workers now have the work spread over five working days. The statutory holiday entitlement for a five-day working week is equivalent to 20 days off .

However, if your employment contract provides otherwise, a collective agreement or a company agreement has been concluded, your holiday entitlement may vary and be higher.

Additional rules for the disabled and exceptional cases
statutory leave special provision disabled employees special leaveIn addition to the provisions in the BUrlG, there are various special regulations that are laid down in other law books.

A special provision provides additional leave in the form of five additional leave days for disabled employees, here the statutory leave entitlement according to the Social Code IX (§ 125) is regulated.

For severely disabled people in part-time work this means more days - in a 3-day week so the normal vacation entitlement plus another three days , with several working days per week more.

Here you can read more about it:

Additional leave: Participation for severely disabled persons
This is to be distinguished from the special leave to which an employee is entitled if extraordinary events justify an absence from work. These include, for example, your own wedding, your own move or a death in the immediate family.

Here you can read more about it:

Special leave: claim at wedding, death & relocation

Calculate holiday entitlement for part-time
It makes no difference whether you work full-time or part-time, because the holiday does not relate to the number of hours worked, but only to the working days.

So you can work 15, 20, or 25 hours a week and still have the same entitlement as someone with a 40-hour work week. The prerequisite is that these hours are distributed over a corresponding number of working days.

Since, as mentioned above, a six-day working week was assumed in the sixties, all calculations are based on this. You can easily calculate the number of days for statutory leave entitlement using the formula:

Four weeks statutory minimum holiday multiplied by the number of your weekly working days gives the statutory leave entitlement for part-time.

Leave entitlement at a four-day week : 4 weeks * 4 working days = 16 days holiday .
Leave entitlement at a three-day week : 4 weeks * 3 working days = 12 days holiday .
Another formula for calculating your part-time vacation entitlement is as follows:

20 vacation days (per year) divided by five working days, multiplied by the number of actual working days, gives the statutory leave entitlement for part-time work.

Holiday entitlement for a 4-day week: 20: 5 * 4 = 16 days off
Holiday entitlement for a 3-day week: 20: 5 * 3 = 12 days off
The number of holidays varies - depending on how many days you work - but not the total holiday height: In all cases, you are entitled to four weeks of vacation .

Number of days depending on the employment contract
Vacation entitlement Calculate part time Holiday entitlement CalculatorContrary to the statutory vacation entitlement, many employment contracts provide for a higher number of days' leave for employees. A general formula for your personal holiday entitlement for part-time looks as follows:

Agreed holidays (per year) divided by the number of working days of your company, multiplied by your working days, gives your individual vacation entitlement.

For example, an employee who is entitled to 25 days of vacation under the terms of his contract of employment calculates as follows:

Holiday entitlement for a 4-day week: 25: 5 * 4 = 20 days off
Holiday entitlement for a 3-day week: 25: 5 * 3 = 15 days off
In some cases, fractions may result in the calculation of holiday days. In this case, the BUrlG stipulates in § 5 (2) that it must be rounded up to a full day of vacation if the fractions result in at least half a day .

An employee who, for example, is entitled to 26 days' holiday under a contract of employment and works part-time, calculates as follows:

Holiday entitlement for a 4-day week: 26: 5 * 4 = 20.8 = 21 days off
Holiday entitlement for a 3-day week: 26: 5 * 3 = 15,6 = 16 days off
Calculation of leave entitlement for irregular part-time
The calculation works slightly differently if a part-time employee does not have fixed working days . Service personnel in the catering trade are often affected, who work a mini-job or work as a working student . If he does not come every week on the same number of working days, the holiday entitlement for part-time work must be calculated differently.

The basis of the new calculation is the regular weekly working time on an annual average . The formula for irregular part-time work is:

Agreed days of holiday divided by the number of working days of the company multiplied by the number of working days per year gives the holiday entitlement.

If fractions result in the calculation , then everything that results in more than one day has to be rounded up to a whole day's holiday.

Special case: change from full-time to part-time
statutory leave entitlement Part time 25 20 15 hours CalculatorWhat happens to leave entitlement if a worker wants to move from a full-time position to part- time in the middle of the year ? Until a few years ago, this meant that the leave entitlement of the year was adjusted to the now reduced number of working days.

For example, if you had a leave entitlement of 20 days for a 5-day week and only worked part-time for 20 hours from the middle of the year on four days, you only had 16 days in total . However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered this subsequent reduction as a violation of the prohibition of discrimination.

Accordingly, the leave entitlement acquired at the time of full-time employment may not be reduced ( ECJ, decision of 13.06.2013, ref .: C 415/12 ). Rather, full-time leave is calculated independently of the time of part-time work .

That is, it is separately considered the acquired leave entitlement in the period during full-time employment and added to the acquired leave entitlement from part-time. This decision not only has consequences for the number of days off, but also has a positive effect on holiday pay.

Because that depends on the days from your full-time employment to the appropriate gross salary. So if you already work part-time but still have full-time work leave, your holiday will be remunerated according to full-time work.

The prohibition to reduce the number of days off is also valid if the employee can no longer take full advantage of his leave until the change to part-time work .

Does another legal holiday entitlement exist by age?
In itself, all workers are equal, but there are exceptions. For young people, the Youth Employment Protection Act (JArschG). Accordingly, there is a statutory holiday entitlement for young people under the age of 18, depending on their age:

For young people under 16 years : at least 30 working days
For young people under 17 years : at least 27 working days
For young people under 18 years : at least 25 working days

The scale here is the age at the beginning of the calendar year. Here, too, there is an additional holiday - for example, if the trainees work underground in the mining industry : Then there are three additional days for the adolescents of all ages.

The Youth Employment Protection Act also stipulates that holidays should be granted during the vocational school holidays . Otherwise, for each day of vocational training at which the vocational school must be visited while on vacation, another day of leave must be granted.

But those who think that there are no other differences are mistaken: in theory, there is no age-related statutory leave entitlement, because that would violate the General Equal Treatment Act ( AGG ).

But there is indeed room for discretion: a few years ago, the Federal Labor Court ruled in favor of an employer who granted his older employees, aged 58 and over, two additional leave days out of concern for their resilience (judgment of 21 October 2014, file number 9 AZR 956/12). ,

Waiting time: When can you take a vacation?
statutory leave entitlement part-time by age Waiting timeUsually, no worker will want to take leave on the second working day, but even if he wanted, it would not work because there is a legal waiting period . According to § 4 of the BUrlG, the employee acquires his full vacation entitlement only after six months of employment .

Generally, however, you acquire from the beginning a statutory holiday entitlement. Whoever therefore only four months has been employed in a company and still would like to take a vacation, which is in accordance with § 5, paragraph 1 BUrlG part vacations in one-twelfth of annual leave for each full month.

The bill looks like this: 20: 12 = 1.66 days .

So you gain 6,64 days statutory leave entitlement for a term of four months. Now can be 0.64 days vacation bad take. However, another regulation states that fractions that result in at least half a day should be rounded up.

So you purchase a holiday entitlement of seven days .

Employer exempt from the work obligation
When can you take your vacation now? Apart from the workload in the company, this also depends on your personal requirements . It is true that § 7 (1) of the Federal Holiday Law states that the vacation wishes of the employee must be taken into account.

But it also means: If these wishes do not oppose operational concerns. So if Christmas is your company's main business and your employer can not spare you, then a holiday ban may be possible.

Likewise, it is possible that you will not be granted a holiday in the summer time, because, for example, workers with family, that is, above all, with children under 14 years, have priority . But apart from these social considerations, the employer can not simply deny you the holiday.

This also means that the employer is not allowed to grant you the holiday exclusively by the piece, so here two days, there two days. You as a worker have a right to take at least 12 days at a time.

Just as well has the works council on holiday issues a say ; So if you feel that you have been wrongfully neglected when planning your holiday, you should consult the works council.

What to do during illness on vacation?
statutory leave entitlement illness remaining leaveYou are on vacation and want to recover, but get sick - what now? The procedure is not much different than outside the holiday also: On the safe side, you are always, if you get sick immediately , preferably with a certificate.

This is even more important than saving your vacation. For those who get sick on holiday, do not recover - and that is the primary purpose of vacation . So you are entitled to the entire holiday for the duration of the proven illness-related failure.

There is a special case if you fall ill during your holiday abroad : You are then obliged to inform your employer as soon as possible that you have fallen ill and how long you are expected to be absent.

But even if you could not enjoy your vacation as desired: you must not just "dranhängen" the certified sick leave to the holiday : That would be the same principle as the self- leave and leads in the worst case to immediate termination .

Transfer of holidays to the new year
Actually, the BUrlG provides in § 7 (3) that the entire holiday must be taken in the same calendar year . If he is not taken, he expires on the 31st of December, provided by your employer.

However, there may be circumstances that make it difficult to take leave in the same year, including personal reasons such as illness or operational reasons such as sick leave or a temporary peak in orders.

In principle, the statutory holiday entitlement due to illness is not reduced . If an employee falls ill for four weeks and has been on sick leave , he or she will have four weeks vacation.

If the employee can not take full leave in the same calendar year, the remaining leave must be transferred to the next year. In general, the 31st of March of the following year is the deadline by which the remaining leave can be taken.

Is a payout possible instead of the holiday?
A payment of the holiday in money is not provided, because it would run counter to the purpose of the recovery . There are exceptions though. Usually, they refer to leaving the company:

A termination does not mean that a former employee gives up his claim to a possible rest holiday. If he can no longer take his remaining leave, the employer must pay him off as a holiday allowance. The earnings that the employee has received in the last 13 weeks before the start of the holiday are used as the basis for calculation.

Until 2018, the remaining days of leave of an employee fell in the event of his demise. In November 2018, the ECJ ruled that this practice was not legal. Family members can now inherit the remaining days of leave in the form of a payout.

Strictly speaking, the rule that leave days can not be paid only for the statutory leave entitlement, so the minimum leave of 20 days for a 5-day week. If you have an employment contract for more days of vacation, you can arrange something different for the rest of your holiday.

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