Until now, the legal regulation for unused vacation days was clear: At the end of the calendar year, or at the latest at the end of the transfer period, unused vacation days expired. To avoid this requirement, employees had to provide proof that they could not take any remaining days off for operational or personal reasons until the end of the calendar year.
However, the Federal Labor Court has now adjusted its previous case law on the forfeiture of vacation days. Although it is still possible for holiday entitlements to expire, the conditions have changed. After the change in the law, the employer is now obliged to ask employees individually to take their vacation. Notice must be given in good time and a clear indication must be given that the leave will otherwise be forfeited at the end of the reference period or any permitted carryover period.
In principle, it is possible to carry over vacation days into the new year, but the law provides clear guidelines for this. If, under certain conditions, the remaining holiday entitlement is carried over to the following year, the holiday must be taken in the first three months. If it is not dismantled by March 31, it will finally expire if the employer has properly fulfilled his duty to inform.
It is permissible to carry over vacation days to the following year for personal reasons such as incapacity to work or because a relative is ill and needs to be cared for. Another exceptional case is the illness of the partner with whom the holiday should be spent. Urgent operational reasons for a holiday transfer are deadline-bound orders as well as technical or administrative problems in the course of operations.
Payment for vacation not taken?
According to the Federal Holidays Act, unused holiday may not be compensated with money. The holiday entitlement can only be paid out if the days of holiday can no longer be granted due to the termination of the employment relationship. In the event that employees change jobs within a calendar year, the remaining vacation from the old employment can be claimed with a new employer. However, the law stipulates that the previous employer must issue a certificate stating how much vacation has already been taken in the current calendar year in order to prevent an employee from being able to claim his vacation twice.
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