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Sunny Skies and Dutch Holiday Legislation: 10 Essentials for Employees to Know

Categories: career & jobs,Latest News,Legal,Sponsored

In the summertime…

“when the weather is high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky!”

Some of you have already made plans, and others are thinking about it: will it be a family visit or that summer destination that Mungo Jerry sang about in his Evergreen (from 1970)?

If you are an employee, it is good that you know the principles of Dutch holiday legislation. Therefore, I’d like to walk you through ten good things to know about it.

A yellow car with a surfboard and beach gear on its roof

  1. Every employee is entitled to holiday pay (8% of the gross wage): an extra allowance on top of your wages. Though it is called holiday allowance (“vakantiegeld” in Dutch), you can save or spend it any way you like – reassuring, in case your holiday plans are thwarted.
  2. Your holiday allowance is usually paid out in May or June as a lump sum. With certain employers, you can choose to have the holiday allowance paid out per month. There is a maximum to this. If there are employees in your organization who earn more than three times the minimum wage, your employer does not have to calculate a holiday allowance on the wages that exceed three times the minimum wage (but he may still pay more).
  3. Does your employer say the holiday allowance is “included in the salary“? Then that is mostly nonsense. Holiday pay may only be paid monthly at the same time as the regular wage if this is explicitly included in your employment contract. A simple check: Law stipulates that the holiday pay is stated on your payslip.
  4. In addition to holiday pay, you are entitled to holiday days. In the European Union, this is 4 times the hours worked per week annually. Do you work full-time? Then you are entitled to 4 x 5 = 20 vacation days. Those are paid as if they were regular working days, regardless of how much you earn. However, many employees receive more than that: the so-called extra-statutory vacation days.
  5. By the way: holidays may not be paid out but must be taken. The only exception is when you leave the company.
  6. Be aware: on July 1, your remaining holidays from 2022 will usually lapse. So book your vacation before July 1 if you want to use these days!
  7. You are ready to go and send your employer a message that you would like to leave for a few weeks in August. Does your employer have to agree to this? Your employer may refuse your holiday request if there are compelling reasons. For example, if your absence seriously disrupts business operations because many other colleagues are away during the same period. He must explain why he refuses your application. This allows you to start the conversation and find an alternative. For example, he might be able to approve your request if you take a week off earlier or later.
  8. For the same reason, your employer may also change an approved holiday. He must discuss this with you first. He must also compensate for any damage, such as the cancellation costs for your booked holiday.
  9. Besides: an employer may not just schedule holidays if he has no work for his employees. He may, however, designate a number of compulsory days off each year, provided that this has been laid down in the collective labor agreement or the employment contract.
  10. Getting sick on holiday is, of course, very annoying. So always report sickness to your employer immediately. In that case, your employer will not deduct any vacation days from your sick days. However, if this is stated in your contract (or a collective labor agreement), your employer may still deduct extra statutory holidays if you are ill during your holiday. So check that out.

a dog reclining on the beach thinking about dutch holiday legislation

With these Dutch holiday legislation tips in mind, you’re good to go. I wish you beautiful summer months and a great holiday!

For more information, please contact Ronald M. Beltzer, Attorney – Employment law specialist, at Flott Advocatuur.