An employer denied an employee, who was on annual leave, the right to deduct four days of the annual leave when the employee's child had been sick and the employee was entitled to leave with temporary parental allowance pursuant to the Parental Leave Act. The employer was of the opinion that, among other things, there is no right for the employee pursuant to the Vacation Act or current collective agreement to interrupt the on-going annual leave unilaterally in order to be on leave for temporary parental care of children.
The trade union SKTF (the "Union") started proceedings against the employer and claimed that the Labour Court shall oblige the employer to pay general damages to the employee for breach of the Vacation Act or the collective agreement, alternatively (the parties had agreed that the current regulation of the collective agreement had the same meaning as the regulation of the Vacation Act). The Union considered that since the employee had, without any delay, notified the employer that she wished to interrupt her annual leave in order to be on leave for temporary parental care of children, the employer had no right to deny her this.
It follows from the Vacation Act that a day which qualifies as base for vacation pay shall not count as vacation day, if the employee so demands without delay during the annual leave. Since some absence from work pursuant to the Vacation Act qualifies as base for vacation pay, e.g., leave pursuant to the Parental Leave Act when parental leave pay is paid, days shall not count as vacation days when a certain period that qualifies as base for vacation pay coincides with the annual leave, provided that the employee has, without undue delay, announced his/her demand in this respect.
Since both parties agreed that the employee had, without any delay, announced her wish to interrupt the annual leave and accordingly to obtain a deduction, the Labour Court found that the employer had breached the Vacation Act and by that also the collective agreement. The Labour Court ordered that the employer pay SEK 30,000 in general damages. (Labour Court judgment 2010, number 35)
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