Leave entitlement and amount of leave

For every year of work employees are entitled to 30 working days of paid leave for a six-day week (or 25 working days for a five-day week), i.e. a total of five calendar weeks.

Employees who have given the same employer more than 25 years of service are entitled to 36 working days of leave for a six-day week (or 30 working days for a five-day week), i.e. a total of six calendar weeks.

Under certain conditions past service in an employment and/or apprenticeship relationship with the same employer as well as periods of work with another employer as well as school and university periods – up to a certain maximum period of time – need to be considered when calculating the amount of leave.

The leave entitlement is accrued proportionately in the first half of the first year of work, i.e. based on the period of service (aliquot leave entitlement). After six months of service, the full leave entitlement is accrued in the first year of work. From the second year of work, the employee is entitled to the total leave at the start of the working year, i.e. the total leave entitlement is accrued on the first day of the respective year of work.

In principle, the leave year starts on the day of commencement of the employee’s employment relationship, i.e. the leave year runs parallel to the working year. However, under certain conditions, the leave year or leave period can be changed over to the calendar year by way of a collective bargaining agreement or employer/works council agreement or, in establishments without a works council, by way of a written individual agreement.

It must be noted that, in the event of a changeover, the leave for the short year may be aliquoted for employees whose employment relationships commenced in the current leave year (short leave year) and which has not yet lasted for six months.

If the employment relationship has lasted longer than six months at the time of the changeover, the employee is also entitled to the full leave for the current leave year (short leave year).

In all cases, a new full leave entitlement is acquired on the first day of the following calendar year.

Please note

While an employment relationship remains in place, employees are not permitted to request that the leave be paid out in cash – or compensated with any other non-monetary benefits (ban on compensation of leave).

Further Links

Brochure on ‘Leave regulations – From leave entitlement to holiday pay: Your entitlement to recuperation’ ( AK)German text

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 24 February 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

Rate this page and help us to improve.