Question from employment law: What happens when you change jobs with holiday entitlement?

Employees are entitled to vacation time.

Question from employment law: What happens when you change jobs with holiday entitlement?

Employees are entitled to vacation time. Even if they change jobs, nothing must be lost. Which rules apply?

Holiday entitlement is the "sacred cow" in European labor law. This is how Alexander Bredereck, specialist lawyer for in Berlin, puts it. Basically, it cannot happen that legal vacation falls under the table when you change employer. The statutory holiday entitlement is 24 working days per year - or 20 days in a five-day week. Contractual leave can be more.

If a change is imminent, employees usually take the leave they are entitled to at the old position up to the deadline. Otherwise, vacation days that are still open must be compensated financially: "That counts as taken," says Bredereck. With the new employer, an employee is then entitled to a proportion of the holiday again.

However, the timing of the change is crucial. If this does not take place on July 1st, an employee is employed in either the old or the new job for more than six months of the calendar year in question. This means: According to the law, he is entitled to the full annual leave there.

Example: Anyone who changes jobs on May 1 acquires a full vacation entitlement for the year in question with the new employer. It is possible that he had already taken vacation days in his old job. Then the bottom line would be even more than the usual vacation days.

In the same way, someone who changes on October 1, for example, may have already taken their annual leave from their old job. Nevertheless, he would get a proportion of vacation time from his new employer, one twelfth of the annual vacation time per month.

In order to avoid such double vacation days, the new boss can request a vacation certificate. The employee then has to obtain this from the old employer. "Before an employer grants his employee who started in May full annual vacation, he can ask how much vacation has already been taken and then offset these days," says Bredereck.

In practice, this is handled differently. So it can be that someone changes employer and gets more vacation days, while the other calculates exactly and there is not more, but also not less annual vacation.

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