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Feriepenge: How workers in Denmark can claim their ‘frozen’ holiday money

Feriepenge: How workers in Denmark can claim their 'frozen' holiday money
Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard announces the release of 'frozen' holiday money. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
People who are employed in Denmark can from today apply for three weeks of ‘holiday money’ to be paid into their accounts.

Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard announced the release of the funds at a briefing reported by DR.

The money can be collected until December 1st, with a maximum seven-day wait to receive it.

“It is voluntary whether you, as a wage earner, want to have this holiday money paid out, but I am convinced that many Danish wage earners will withdraw it and spend more money – hopefully at Danish businesses – benefitting the economy and thereby also the jobs market,” Hummelgaard said.

What is Danish ‘holiday money’ and why is it being paid out?

‘Holiday money' or feriepenge is a monthly contribution paid out of your salary into a special fund, depending on how much you earn.

You can claim back the money once per year, provided you actually take holiday from work.

If you are employed in Denmark, you will be notified when the money can be paid out (this is in May under normal circumstances) and directed to the borger.dk website, from where you claim it back from national administrator Udbetaling Danmark.

Due to a change in the law affecting the way the money is calculated, most people eligible for the holiday money currently have a ‘frozen’ amount from an overlapping period of accrual, which was originally not intended to be paid out until leaving the Danish labour market (for example on retirement or leaving the country).

This was changed earlier in 2020 after the coronavirus lockdown and its resultant economic impact encouraged parliament to pass provisions for the ‘frozen' holiday money to be paid out early.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Denmark's 'frozen' holiday pay: how does it work and what are the problems with payouts?

Who is eligible?

If you receive holiday pay (feriepenge) under normal circumstances, you should also be able to receive the ‘frozen’ money. You must have worked during the period September 1st 2019 to March 31st 2020, the relevant period for accrual of the holiday money.

Anyone who is an employee of a company registered in Denmark and who pays Danish taxes is likely to receive holiday pay, as this means you will be covered by the Danish Holiday Act (ferieloven). You are not an employee if, for example, you are self-employed, are a board member on the company for which you work or are unemployed.

The Holiday Act normally only applies if you work in Denmark. If your employment is linked to countries other than Denmark, you may be covered by other rules.

How do I get the money?

The money can be claimed from September 29th by logging on to the borger.dk website using your personal NemID.

You must then select your form of employment. For most people, this will be lønmodtager (wage earner), but some may need to select a different option and fill out a form.

You will then be able to see how much you can claim (before tax).

After this, you must confirm a declaration that you are providing truthful and honest information before finally clicking Bestil feriemidler (claim holiday money).

You will be given a receipt and the money will be transferred to your regular account (Nem-Konto) within seven days. You’ll also receive a letter within a few days confirming the exact amount you’ll receive and the date it will be paid out.

Source: Beskæftigelsesministeriet

What else do I need to know?

You can only claim the money via going directly to the borger.dk website. Official contact regarding holiday money is always through the secure eboks service. Regular emails, SMS messages or telephone calls asking for your details or response in relation to the holiday money payout should therefore be treated as suspected scams.

The ‘frozen’ holiday money created by the change to the Holiday Law in 2019 actually amounts to five weeks of pay, of which only three weeks are being released for immediate claim at the current time. Political negotiations in the autumn will determine whether the remaining two weeks will also be released early, and when.

It is also possible for wage earners to choose not to receive the frozen holiday money early and instead postpone the payment to a later time – for example when you eventually leave the Danish system, as would have been the case without the government’s coronavirus-related intervention.

 


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