Förderprogramm "Integration durch Qualifizierung IQ"

FAQ – Holiday

How much holiday are you entitled to by law?

In Germany, there is a statutory minimum holiday time of 4 weeks per year: 20 working days for a 5-day week, 24 working days for a 6-day week. Your employment contract or collective agreement states how much holiday you get. It is not possible to agree on less holiday than the statutory minimum amount.

When you have been employed for 6 months you have full holiday entitlement (from the entire working year). Before that, you are entitled to part of the holiday: this is calculated according to the number of days of holiday per year and the length of your employment (in months).

You must take your holiday in the year you worked in. If you were unable to take your holiday in one year due to urgent business or personal reasons, you can still take it until 31 March of the following year. At the end of the year, your employer must tell you how many days of holiday you have left and request that you take them.

If he/she does not do this, the days of holiday will still remain and you will have to take them the following year.

Do you receive a wage/salary during your holiday?

Yes, you will continue to be paid as normal during your holiday. This is known as continued payment of wages (Lohnfortzahlung). Some employers also pay a holiday allowance. Holiday allowance is a special payment that is agreed in a collective agreement or paid voluntarily by the employer.

How can you request holiday?

If you would like to take holiday, you must submit a holiday application (Urlaubsantrag).  Your employer can usually give you a form for this purpose. There are also usually rules in the company/business/organisation about coordinating with colleagues. Your employer must take your wishes into account when planning holiday.

Your holiday application can only be rejected if there are urgent business reasons. This could be, for example, if you work in a seasonal business and want to take holiday during the peak season. Once your holiday has been agreed and approved by your employer, you can take it.

What can you do if you have been dismissed and still have days of holiday left?

It is possible that you are dismissed and still have days of holiday left that you can no longer take. Your holiday entitlement will then be paid out with your final salary payment. This is known as payment in lieu of holiday (Urlaubsabgeltung). The entitlement to this payment arises upon termination of the employment relationship.

Make sure that your employer pays you this on your last payslip!

Please note: sometimes you can also arrange with the employer to take the remaining days of holiday before your last working day (according to the notice period). This means that you will leave the employment relationship earlier, but will continue to be paid until the last day.


Can you take holiday during the probationary period?

You can also take holiday during the probationary period. But you are not yet entitled to holiday for the whole year. Depending on how many days of holiday you have for the whole year and how many full months you have already worked in a company, you are entitled to part of the holiday (partial entitlement).

As from when are you entitled to take holiday?

You have a partial holiday entitlement for each full month that you were employed (i.e. that you worked). When you have worked a full month, you have 1/12 of your annual leave as holiday days. For example, if you have 20 days of holiday, you are entitled to 1.6 holiday days after one full month of work.

Holiday by calendar month: collective agreements

Some collective agreements stipulate that a partial entitlement to holiday only arises for each full calendar month worked (as in the collective agreement for building cleaning, for example). A calendar month runs from the beginning of the month to the end of the month, whereas a month of employment begins on the first working day.

Please note: even if this is agreed in the collective agreement, the following still applies: you must receive the statutory minimum number of days’ holiday. The provision in the collective agreement will only apply if it contains a more favourable arrangement than the statutory minimum amount of holiday.