Consequences of Great Prayer Day (Store Bededag)

On February 28th, 2023, the Danish Government passed a bill (Act L 13 2022/2023) on the consequences of abolishing the Great Prayer Day as a public holiday. 2023 will be the last year in which Great Prayer Day is a public holiday according to legislation.

2023 is the last time

This will effectively mean that all employees annual working hours will increase, and this leads to a mandatory compensation.

The changes apply to all employees as per a normal employee definition, which means that the law covers anyone who performs personal work for remuneration in an employment relationship.

All employees will be entitled to an allowance of 0.45% of the yearly salary.

Monthly salaried employees

Monthly salaried employees, in the sense of the law, are employees who receive a fixed monthly salary or fixed salary for another period, regardless of how many holidays are included in the salary period. 

These employees will have an increase in their effective working time by one (1) working day per year, and the law introduces a special salary allowance as compensation for this increased working time.

The allowance amounts to 0.45% of the employee’s annual salary, corresponding to the normal value of a working day. Both full-time employees, part-time employees, temporary employees, and employees who do not normally work on Fridays, are entitled to the allowance.

Even if the employees are provided compensation with additional paid time off, the employee is still entitled to the allowance of 0.45%.

Two models for payout

  1. Yearly model: Payout twice a year in May and August (e.g., the 1% holiday allowance)
  2. Monthly model: Payout with the monthly salary

Hourly salaried employees

Hourly salaried employees, who from January 1st, 2024, work on the day, which was previously Great Prayer Day, will receive their regular hourly wage for the working hours.

Non-Danish employees

The changes will also impact non-Danish employees.


Generally, the issues can be highlighted as the following:

  1. Consider the relevant model for payment to monthly salaried employees (monthly or annually)
  2. Adjust the payroll processing for monthly salaried employees to reflect on the model of the payment
  3. Consider if the adjustment of workdays and allowance must be captured in internal policies, employment contracts, or similar
  4. In case you opt for the annual payment model, consider if an accrual of the liability shall be added to the payroll process/backfeed

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