Time for Vacation Planning? Common Q&As for You as an Employer

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Time for Vacation Planning? Common Q&As for You as an Employer</span>

Are you allowed to combine parental leave with a vacation? Who has the final say when it’s time to schedule the vacation weeks? And what happens if an employee falls ill during the holiday? Summer and time off are approaching, which can lead to plenty of questions for those who manage the company’s vacation planning. We’ll help you navigate the rules.

Vacation Planning for your Staff – Eight Questions and Answers

Letting employees have an extended period of continuous rest – without challenging their wallets. That’s the purpose of our legal right to vacation in Sweden. The Annual Leave Act was instituted for the first time in 1938, but it wasn’t until 1977 that the number of vacation weeks was increased from two to today’s five. In addition to what is stated in the Annual Leave Act, special conditions can occur in collective agreements and employment contracts. Below, we will go through the Annual Leave Act, but keep in mind that there may be discrepant rules in your company.

  1. How many vacation days is the employee entitled to?
    According to the Annual Leave Act, you are entitled to 25 vacation days per vacation year, regardless of the type of employment. In some cases, the collective agreement may grant the right to extra vacation days in addition to the legally required 25 days – for example, one additional week for employees turning 40 during the year.

    Did the employee enter their employment later during the year? In this case, other rules apply: If you enter your employment after August 31 during the vacation year, you’re only entitled to five vacation days unless you have made another agreement.

    The Annual Leave Act differs between paid and unpaid vacation. To get a paid vacation, you must earn the right to it. You do this the year before the year you go on vacation – the qualifying year.Do you need help calculating how many paid vacation days the employee is entitled to from the number of employment days?

    Here is a calculator. (In Swedish).

  2. How does this work with new hires? If the employee is hired late during the qualifying year and doesn’t have time to earn the right to a complete paid vacation, the employer can (but doesn’t have to) offer this – a so-called advance annual leave. If the employee leaves within five years, the debt for the advance annual leave should be reimbursed to the employer.

  3. How far in advance do I have to notify the employee about their annual vacation dates? The best tips for successful vacation planning: Start in time! According to the Annual Leave Act, the employee is entitled to get notified about annual vacation dates two months in advance. As an employer, you may give notice later only if there are special circumstances.

  4. My employee doesn’t want to take all vacation days in a row; do they have the right to save days? Yes, if you are entitled to over 20 vacation days, all additional days may be saved. For example, if you have 25 paid vacation days, you can save five days and collect these as continuous leave, which has to happen within five years.

  5. My employee has fallen ill during the vacation; how do we handle it?
    Instead of going on a much-needed sun vacation, your employee must spend most of it in the sickbed. Which rules apply here? According to the regular rules for sick pay, the employee can go on sick leave just as if they had been working. The vacation days will not be used, and the employee can collect them as a continuous leave at another time instead.

  6. We can’t agree on our vacation planning. Who has the final say?
    The main principle is that the employee is entitled to a minimum of four weeks of continuous vacation and that they should be scheduled during June-August (although there are some exceptions, for example, if the business is seasonal). Exactly how the leave should be placed within these frames is something that – as far as possible – should be decided in dialogue with the employee. If you disagree, you, as an employer, have the final say in eligible weeks.

  7. My employee wants to take both parental leave and vacation this summer. Do I have to approve this?
    Combining parental leave with vacation is a popular option among parents of young children to solve childcare or expand summer leave. But if many employees want time off during the same weeks, staffing and simultaneously making everyone happy can be challenging. So, which guidelines must be followed?

    As an employee, you are entitled to parental leave according to the Parental Leave Act as long as you apply for it by two months (in some collective agreements, three months) in advance. In addition, you are entitled to four weeks of coherent vacation between June-August, which means that you may combine both types of leave. As an employer, note that while the holiday, if necessary, can be scheduled for another period than what your employee has requested, you must (in most cases) grant parental leave for the specific weeks the employee has applied for.

  8. If I’m short-staffed, do I have the right to order an employee to work if they are on vacation? Yes, according to the Annual Leave Act, you can both withdraw and terminate an approved vacation – but there must be special reasons for this. Special reasons refer to things that you as an employer couldn’t predict in your vacation planning, for example, that everyone in the workgroup falls ill. If there are no special causes, you may be liable to pay damages through union trade negotiations. Additionally, the employee has the right to financial reimbursement for potential costs due to the interrupted vacation, such as rebooking a pre-paid trip.

Successful Vacation Planning – Five Quick Tips

1. Start in time. Ask your employees to send in their requests and set a target date.
2. Remember that employees with children may choose to request parental leave during the summer. Usually, this request can’t be declined as long as the employee sends in their request two months in advance.
3. Avoid questions, disagreement, and discontent by keeping a detailed vacation policy that specifies vacation periods, how many can be off at the same time, what applies in terms of parental leave, etc.
4. In consultation with your co-workers, plan vacations that accommodate their requests as much as possible while also considering the company’s needs.
5. Keep in mind that the time off should be continuous for the employee to have the best chance of recovery (a minimum of four successive weeks if not stated otherwise in your contract).

Is the Vacation Management a Hassle? We Can Help!

Are you and your colleagues experiencing that vacation planning takes up too much of your time? At Flex Applications, we want to make vacation planning effortless – and everything else that comes with payroll and personnel administration. No matter if you wish to upgrade to an innovative digital toolbox that automates complicated and time-consuming elements or if you additionally want to outsource the whole or parts of the HR and payroll work to our team of specialists – we’ll help you!

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