Rest and annual leave

My Labour,
My Rights

Rest and annual leave

Rest and leave are interruption to physical and intellectual (work) activities of workers, intended for regeneration of working capabilities. Rest or leave cover any period that is not considered to be hours of work. Workers have the inalienable right to breaks, daily and weekly rest, and annual leave.

The break for working six or more hours is 30 minutes. The Law on Labour Relations also provides for scheduling the break following two hours of work and not later than three hours prior to the end of the hours of work. Time spent on break in the course of the working day is included in the hours of work and paid in the salary. This implies that the break is an integral part of the hours of work and contributes to the decrease in the effective hours of work. Workers with shorter hours of work, but no less than four hours per day, are entitled to 15-minute break.

Daily rest is at least 12 hours without interruptions between two consecutive working days in the course of 24 hours. Minimal daily rest of 12 hours also sets the limit for maximal duration of the working day (not more than 12 hours).

Weekly rest lasts for at least 24 hours without interruptions, preceded by the 12 hour daily rest. Hence, the worker is entitled to a full weekly rest preceded by the 12 hour daily rest (e.g. 12 hours rest on Saturday + 24 hours rest on Sunday). The Law on Labour Relations designates Sunday as a day for weekly rest, but also allows for defining another day designated for weekly rest. Work and production cycles often require engagement of workers on Sundays also, or on other days designated for weekly rest. In this case workers are entitled to allowance for working on days designated for weekly rest, as detailed in collective agreements.

The Law on Labour Relations guarantees the right to paid annual leave, in the duration of at least 20 working days. Annual leave may be extended, in accordance with a collective agreement or employment contract, in total of 26 working days, excluding certain categories of individuals entitled to longer annual leave (older workers, workers with disability, workers with at least 60% bodily impairment, and workers caring for and raising children with disability are entitled to additional three days of annual leave). 

Criteria for defining the duration of annual leave are defined in a collective agreement or employment contract. They include the time spent in employment, the working conditions, and other criteria defined in a collective agreement. Holidays, Saturdays and Sundays, days off work, sick leaves, as well as other cases of justifiable absence from work, are not included in the days of annual leave.

Entitlement to annual leave derives from the duration of the worker’s employment at the employer. The employee who establishes employment for the first time is entitled to use the full annual leave after an uninterrupted period of service of at least six months with the same employer, regardless of whether the employee is working full-time or part-time. The category ‘uninterrupted period of service of at least six months with the same employer’ also covers paid leave from work such as sick leave, holidays, days off work and other types of justifiable absence from work in line with law or collective agreement. Apart to the entitlement to full annual leave, in some cases workers are entitled to use a proportionate part of their annual leave provided two conditions are met –the first condition is for the worker to have not acquired the right to full annual leave in the calendar year when they entered  into employment; the second condition is related to termination of employment prior to the expiry of the 6 months period required for the worker to be entitled to full annual leave. The proportionate part of the annual leave is two days for each month spent at work.

Entitlement to annual leave is an inalienable right of the worker. A worker cannot waive their right to annual leave and any agreement whereby the worker is waiving their right to annual leave shall be null and void. The worker is entitled to a compensation for the unused part of the annual leave (financial compensation) only in the case of termination of their employment. When defining the annual leave, the employer will take into account the requirements of the work process, as well as possibilities for rest and leisure of the worker, having in mind their family obligations. Apart from the dominant position of the employer who defines the period for using annual leave, the worker is entitled to using two days of their choice of their annual leave, provided it does not seriously jeopardize the work. In this case the worker shall notify the employer no later than three days before using days off.

Annual leave should be used, by rule, in the course of the calendar year. The law provides an opportunity to use annual leave in several parts, where one part of the annual leave has to be in the duration of at least two uninterrupted work weeks. The employer is obligated to provide the worker with an opportunity to use 12 days of annual leave prior to the end of the calendar year, and the rest of the days may be used by 30 June the following year.

My Labour.
My Rights
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The Labour Rights Campaign is implemented
by the Economic and Social Council supported by Strengthening Social Dialogue.

The project is funded by the European Union, and implemented by the International Labour Organization

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The content is sole responsibility of the Strengthening the Social Dialogue Project
and does not necessarily reflect the positions of the European Union.

Share

The Labour Rights Campaign is implemented
by the Economic and Social Council supported by Strengthening Social Dialogue.

The project is funded by the European Union, and implemented by the International Labour Organization

partners1

The content is sole responsibility of the Strengthening the Social Dialogue Project
and does not necessarily reflect the positions of the European Union.