As an employee in the Netherlands, you are entitled to paid holidays each year. In addition, you can take leave that is regulated by law, such as maternity leave, parental leave and care leave. For every type of leave, there are rules that apply. Rules that employers and employees must adhere to.
As an employee, you are entitled to vacation days every year. By law that is at least 4 times the number of hours that you work per week. If you work 32 hours a week, you are therefore entitled to 128 vacation hours a year. These are the statutory vacation hours. It may be agreed in your employment contract or collective agreement that you will receive more vacation hours. These are the so-called non-statutory vacation hours.
In addition, among other things, these rules apply to holidays:
- If you want to take vacation days, request this from your employer. They may only object to this if they have a reason that is very important for the company.
- Your employer must then inform you in writing within 2 weeks of your application. If your employer does not do this, you can take the days off.
- If you are sick or have maternity leave or maternity leave, you simply accrue vacation days.
Your statutory vacation days remain valid for six months after the year in which you accrued them. You may agree a longer period in writing with your employer. You may sell the non-statutory vacation hours for money, but your employer must first agree to it.
You are legally entitled to holiday pay each year (also referred to as holiday allowance or holiday allowance). This is at least 8% of the gross annual salary and can only be less if this is stated in your collective labor agreement. Your wage slip shows how much holiday pay you get. In addition, these rules also apply:
- The holiday pay is calculated on the basis of your salary for the past year (usually from May to May). Some collective agreements deviate from this.
- You receive holiday allowance at least once a year, usually in May or June. Agreements about this can be found in the employment contract or in the collective labor agreement.
You also accrue holiday pay if you are sick. UWV pays your holiday pay during maternity leave. You usually receive this simply through your employer. If your employment contract ends, you will still receive holiday pay for the months in which you worked at your employer. Your employer will include this in the final statement.
Maternity and maternity leave
If you are pregnant, you are entitled to maternity leave. The total leave lasts at least 16 weeks. UWV pays your wages during maternity leave and you usually receive this simply through your employer. You can ask if you can take the maternity leave in parts after the first 10 weeks. You must record the first 10 weeks in succession.
If your spouse or partner gives birth, you are entitled to 5 days of paid birth leave in a full-time position. You can take emergency leave for the birth itself. You may also take 3 days of parental leave. This is unpaid leave unless otherwise agreed in your employment contract or in the collective labour agreement.
You must take the birth and parental leave within 4 weeks of the birth of the baby or after the baby has returned home from the hospital.
- You can take parental leave to spend more time caring for your children. If you want to take this leave, you must take into account these legal conditions, among others:
- You can take parental leave for children up to 8 years.
- You may take 26 times the number of weekly working hours of leave.
- The leave is unpaid unless otherwise agreed in your contract or collective agreement.
- Both parents can take parental leave.
- You request parental leave in writing from your employer and at least 2 months before you go on leave.
Adoption leave and foster care leave
If you take in a foster child or adopted a child into your home, you can take leave for this. Among other things, the following legal rules apply:
- You request the leave from your employer and at least 3 weeks before you want to take it.
- You are entitled to a maximum of 6 weeks of adoption and foster care leave.
- You can take the leave spread over a period of 26 weeks. This can start from 4 weeks before the child enters the house. Together with your employer, you apply to UWV for benefits for the period of leave.
- You can read more information about applying for adoption and foster care benefits on uwv.nl.
Short-term and long-term leave
If your partner, child or parent is ill, you may take short-term or long-term care leave which is recognised by law. This also applies to sisters, brothers, grandchildren, grandparents, partners and acquaintances. Your employer may only refuse this leave if he has a reason that is important for the company. You do build up vacation days during the care leave, but your salary depends on the type of leave and the agreements with your employer.
Short-term care leave
You may take up to 2 times your weekly working hours each year for short-term care leave. During this leave, you will receive at least 70% of your salary by law. In the company where you work, other agreements may apply that are made in the collective labour agreement or with the works council or staff representation.
Long-term care leave
If you need longer leave, for example, if your partner is seriously ill, you can take long-term care leave. Among other things, the following applies to long-term care leave:
- You request the leave in writing from your employer and at least 2 weeks before the leave starts.
- The leave lasts a maximum of 6 times your weekly working hours and you must take it within one year after the 1st day of the leave.
During this leave, you are not entitled to salary according to the law, but different agreements may apply in the company where you work. These agreements are then made in the collective labour agreement or with the works council or staff representation.
You can take emergency leave in the event of personal circumstances for which you have to take unexpected leave. A calamity is, for example, a death, a birth or a leak in the house. How long an emergency leave lasts depends on the reason for the leave. According to the law, emergency leave is a paid leave, but different agreements may apply in the company where you work. These agreements are then made in the collective labour agreement or with the works council or staff representation.