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Public Holidays

Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a calendar of all 2017 public holidays for Svalbard. Please scroll down to view.

Svalbard, a Norwegian-controlled archipelago, is one of several islands in the Arctic Ocean. The island has a population of approximately 2,000. Formerly ruled by Denmark and Norway, most national holidays are based on Scandinavian cultural traditions and Roman Catholic observances. Svalbard officially recognizes 14 public holidays including New Year’s Day; Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; Easter; Easter Monday; May Day; Ascension Day; Whit Sunday; Whit Monday; Constitution Day; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; Second Day of Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Public holidays in Svalbard are regulated by the Annual Holiday Act, which was amended in 2014 to include workers employed in the mining and fishing industries, as well as all public and private sectors. According to the Annual Holiday Act, all workers are entitled to 21 working days as paid holidays per year. Labour laws in Svalbard provide that all workers are entitled to 25 days of paid leave per year, which includes public holidays. Some employers may allow additional paid time off for local cultural observances. Entitlement to annual leave may vary according to individual employment contracts or union bargaining agreements. Holiday time is deducted from the annual leave allowance.

Employees who reach the age of 60 during a holiday year are allowed an additional six days of annual leave. Holiday pay is calculated according to wages earned during the year preceding the holiday period. Although somewhat confusing, the laws imply that all workers are entitled to holiday pay amounting to 10.2 percent in addition to normal wages. Workers over the age of 60 are given an additional increase of 2.3 percent. Although Svalbard is part of the Kingdom of Norway, only a few Norwegian laws apply to workers in Svalbard.

Working Conditions in Svalbard

Normal working hours in Svalbard include eight hours per day for a five-day work week, amounting to 40 hours per week. Work in excess of 40 hours per week is considered overtime. Overtime compensation is paid at 40 percent in addition to normal wages. Professionals and salaried employees are not generally paid overtime compensation. All workers are entitled to two full days of uninterrupted rest time per week, usually on weekends.

The majority of workers in Svalbard are employed in coal mining, fishing, industrial research and tourism industries. As there is a lack of roads on the island, most workers must travel to jobs via snowmobiles or small aircraft. Transportation to mining sites and research facilities is typically provided by the employer. Temporary housing may be offered to workers in remote areas of the island, as glacial ice conditions makes travel to sites extremely difficult.

Public Holidays 2017

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
13 AprThuMaundy Thursday
14 AprFriGood Friday
16 AprSunEaster Sunday
17 AprMonEaster Monday
1 MayMonMay Day
17 MayWedConstitution Day
25 MayThuAscension Day
4 JunSunWhit Sunday / Pentecost
5 JunMonWhit Monday
25 DecMonChristmas Day
26 DecTueSecond Day of Christmas