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Can employees postpone their vacation if they get ill? Here are the rules

Summer holidays are approaching for most people in Norway. You probably have many employees who go on vacation when July comes, but what happens if an employee falls ill just before their vacation starts? Or falls ill during their vacation?

In some cases, the employee has the right to postpone their vacation until later, if illness occurs before or during the holiday. Here are the rules you as an employer needs to know about: 


Illness during the vacation? Sick days can be made into new vacation days later in the year

If one of your employees falls ill during the holidays, they are entitled to have the sick days back as a new holiday later in the same year. This requires that the employee is 100% incapacitated and the requirement must be documented with a medical certificate from a doctor.

The medical certificate must be presented when the employee is back at work, without undue delay. "Undue stay" does not necessarily mean that the employee must deliver the medical certificate the same day they are back at work, but within a reasonable time.

If the employee falls ill before the vacation, the whole vacation can be postponed

If an employee falls ill before going on their vacation, they may require their holiday to be postponed until later in the year. The condition is that the employee is completely incapacitated and can document this with a medical certificate. The doctor's certificate must be presented to the employer no later than the last working day before the employee should have left for vacation.

If the holiday is postponed on the right basis before it starts, the general rule is that the whole holiday is postponed. For example, if the employee were to go on a two-week vacation, the entire holiday period would be postponed. As soon as the employee has recovered from the illness, he or she must return to work, even though this is in the middle of the original holiday.

What do you do if you suddenly need to replace an employee? Sick leaves or sudden resignations can happen, and it is never really a good time for it to happen. If you for example have a controller suddenly leaving, and you are in need of a replacement on short notice, it can be smart to consider an interim solution. Read about our interim services here