Holiday and unequal distribution of weekly working hours

The summer holiday period is now in full swing, which means that most employees have taken or will take a holiday. Most of the requirements for annual leave are set out in the Labour Code, so no discrepancies should occur. This issue of our newsletter outlines problem that may arise when taking leave where weekly working hours are distributed unequally. This is due to differences compared to leave taken in a calendar year.

Unequal distribution of working hours

Under 78 (1) (m) of the Labour Code, unequal distribution means working hours unequally distributed by the employer into shifts, providing that the average weekly working time may not exceed the prescribed or shorter working time for a maximum of 26 consecutive weeks or 52 weeks. Where weekly working time in continuous operations is 37.5 hours, it can be unequally distributed into shifts with weeks of 37.5 hours, and some weeks with more and others fewer hours. However, the maximum permissible balancing period would be 37.5 hours on average. Such an allocation of working hours typically takes the form of short and long weeks, with a different number of shifts. This distribution requires a specific regulation of leave, set out in Section 213 (4) of the Labour Code. It is based on the average number of working days taken as holidays for an employee per holiday week. Consequently, if an employee takes a holiday and s/he has an unequal distribution of working hours into individual weeks or an entire calendar year, the employee is entitled to as many working days of holiday as the number of working days falling on his/her holiday in the full-year average, i.e. according to the working hours scheduled into shifts. In such a case, the holiday entitlement is calculated based on shifts/working days/according to the schedule per calendar year.

The average is determined according to the following formula:

Holiday entitlement in working days = PS: NW x HW PS = the number of planned shifts based on the weekly working hour schedule NW = the number of weeks in a year; number 52 is used, or more precisely 52.143 in a non-leap year and 52.286 in a leap year HW = the number of holidays to which an employee is entitled in a calendar year, i.e. 4 weeks of statutory holiday, but can be 5 weeks or more, at the company’s discretion. The number of planned working days in a calendar year is divided by the number of weeks in a calendar year. This provides the average number of planned working days in one week. This average number of working days in a week serves as a basis for determining the total number of working days attributable to an employee’s holiday, where the average number of working days in a week is multiplied by the number of weeks of holiday that the employee can take in a calendar year. This provides the total number of working days of holiday that the employer must ask the employee to take.


An employee works in an unequally distributed working hour arrangement. The number of planned shifts was 182 days. His holiday entitlement is 4 weeks per year. 182:52 = 3.5 days per week With the four-week holiday entitlement: 3.5 days x 4 = 14 The total holiday entitlement is 14 working days taken as holiday. Please do not hesitate to contact our Payroll Department should you have any questions. We hope you enjoy your holiday.