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The new Danish holiday rules — a quick guide

Vacation planning — The new Danish vacation rules can be tricky: There are new rules for accrued vacation, new deadlines and for the transfer of days. But don’t worry, here is the University Post's guide with everything you need to know to plan your days off.

You need to know the new rules if you want to make the most out of your vacation days – for your own sake.

If you are an employee at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), you also need to make yourself familiar with KUPA, which is the IT system that keeps track of staff vacation days.

Here is a short guide to the system, which can be a bit tricky.

To get started, you need to log on to kunet. Once you are in, press Self service, click on My data, then on Holidays, current holiday year and then on the KUPA link in the text to the right.

How to read how much vacation you have available

The fact box ‘Fix four mistakes’ (right) shows you some of the things you need to check the first time you enter KUPA. The new system still has a few glitches, and you need to clear it up yourself.

Fix FOUR mistakes:

First of all, you need to make sure KUPA is in English if that is what you want. As a default, the system is set up in English, so you may not have to change anything here. You switch language by clicking on your name icon in the top right-hand corner. Select Sæt Præferencer and then Sprog, and then toggle to Amerikansk Engelsk on all three toggles if you need to switch to English.

Secondly, you may need to check that the system is not in Danish, just because you have set your browser to automatically translate. This can be the cause of errors too.

Thirdly: Inside KUPA, (select the house symbol at top right to get back to KUPA) you select the red icon Time and Absences in the middle of the screen. Then press Absence Balance. You are in.

Finally: Click load more items at the bottom right-hand corner. You do this in order to see the elements 6 through 10 and to be sure that your data is fully updated. Errors may occur in the system. Load once again. If it still looks strange, wait 24 hours. Then do the same again. Speak to your manager if the problems persist.

Once you have done this, you can read how many days of vacation you have. The three most important are:
Vacation Days
Vacation Days Carryover
Vacation Forecast

Vacation Days are the number of ordinary days of vacation that you have accrued in the holiday year.

Following the new holiday rules, your holiday year always starts on 1 September and ends on 31 August.

You earn 2.08 vacation days for each month you are employed. When you, for example, have accrued 2.08 days vacation in September, they will be visible from 1 October under Vacation Days in KUPA. From this point you can start using them.

Vacation Days Carryover are the days that you have not been able to use in your last holiday year, and which you may have to (hurry to) use before 1 January. You may, however, transfer 5 days into the new year.

If it says 5.64 under Vacation Days Carryover, you can transfer up to five of them to next year, so you don’t lose them. If you don’t transfer them, and you don’t use them before the new year, you will lose them.

As for the last 0.64 days, UCPH has recently decided that they will always be transferred automatically.

If you want to transfer some vacation days, remember to fill out this ‘form to transfer holidays’ and submit it to your immediate manager, who has the responsibility to pass on the information to the system.

Vacation Forecasts are the days of holiday that the system expects you will accrue in the (current) holiday year.


The new rules have been in effect from 1 September 2020, and the new system is called concurrent holiday. Here are a few more things you should be aware of:

Under the new rules, you can take vacation days even though you have not yet accrued enough vacation days for them. You do however need your manager’s consent.

Also keep an eye out for the standard bank holidays that all Danish employees are entitled to, and which you get in addition to the ordinary vacation days and special vacation days as a UCPH employee. The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) has a list of them here.

Finally, as an employee at UCPH, you will be given three extra days in accordance with your contract: Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and the Danish Constitution Day.

In KUPA and on KUnet, ordinary vacation days are sometimes abbreviated as F days. In the same way, special vacation days may be shortened to SF days.

On 1 September, the system expected you would be able to earn 24.96 days of vacation in a year, and 24.96 is therefore listed under the Vacation Forecast. In October, you accrued 2.08 days of vacation, so there was only 22.88 left. In November, there was 20.80, in December 18.72 – and so on.

It is only a prognosis, in other words.

In the Vacation Forecast, there is, as a matter of fact, a slight snag in the system: The year’s 12 months each give 2.08 days of vacation, and that is a total of 24.96 days of vacation. But aren’t you supposed to have 25.00 days of ordinary vacation in a year? Don’t worry, you won’t be cheated: The missing 0.04 vacation days will automatically be added at the end of the holiday year in August. The Vacation Forecast just can’t figure out how to calculate 0.04 days throughout the entire holiday year.

Special vacation days can be tricky too

Then there is the question of the special vacation days. You earn five special vacation days every calendar year in which you have been employed by UCPH under the state holiday agreement. Your ordinary vacation days are earned according to the regulations of the Danish Holiday Act.

If you cannot see your special vacation days in KUPA, then click (again) on Load more items and see if they don’t show up.

The special vacation holidays are given to you, at once, 1 May, in the calendar year after you earned them. They are then available for one year until 30 April. If you, for example, have special vacation days in KUPA in November 2021, they were accrued in 2020, and you must use these vacation days no later than 30 May 2022. Special vacation days may not be transferred or disbursed.

One final hurdle that you need to be aware of: If your immediate manager has remembered to notify you that you need to use all your special vacation days before 30 April, and you have not used them, you lose them. If, however, you have not been informed about them, you are entitled to have the days paid out.