Jews in Norway are planning to send a petition to their Supreme Court in an attempt to get Jewish holidays recognised by the national calendar system.
The current law states that all employees have a guaranteed twelve days of annual leave and most of this time has some connection with a Christian holiday. Non-Christians are, however, allowed an extra two days of paid leave that can be taken whenever they choose.
Jewish groups have noted that this system is unfair to Jews who work in the public sector, who are sometimes forced to work on Jewish holidays, or choose between one festival to miss or another.
These groups argue that this violates part of the Norwegian constitution, which guarantees free religious practice, though this applies primarily to Jews who work in the public sector, since some private companies tend to be better at meeting the needs of their religious employees.
The petition comes at the same time as the Liberal Party of Norway’s youth movement published a position calling for all employees to be given the choice of when they take twelve days off, regardless of those days’ connection to the Christian calendar.
The former leader of the Jewish Community in Oslo, and board trustee, Ervin Kohn, said that the Liberal Party’s proposal may solve the problem, but that “it is important that we as a society have common public holidays”.