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Feriepenge: How Danish wage earners can claim remaining ‘frozen holiday pay’

Feriepenge: How Danish wage earners can claim remaining 'frozen holiday pay'
Photo: Kristian Djurhuus/Ritzau Scanpix
People who were employed in Denmark in 2019 and 2020 may be able to claim ‘frozen’ holiday pay from Wednesday.

The money, which would normally have been payable when leaving the Danish labour market (for example on retirement), can now be claimed early, with many people already having claimed their funds during the first round of payouts last year.

People eligible to claim the money can see whether, and how much, they are entitled to by logging on to the borger.dk website.

The site reported heavy traffic on Wednesday, but the screenshot below shows the relevant link for claiming frozen holiday money (‘Bestil indefrosne feriemidler’).

Once the holiday money has been claimed, it should be transferred to accounts within ten days, news wire Ritzau reports.

After autumn 2020 saw three out of five weeks of ‘frozen’ holiday money made available, the remaining two weeks have now been released following a parliamentary agreement and can be claimed from Wednesday.

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 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.

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.

What else do I need to know?

Wage earners can 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.

This could be on retirement or at any other time after October 1st this year if you leave the labour market for any reason.


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