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Leave in Netherlands

Holiday Leave in Netherlands

Full-time employees are entitled to at least 20 days of holiday. Holiday allowance is 8% of the gross salary and is usually paid in May, based on the wage from June the previous year. The employer must maintain the employee's salary while they are away on holiday.

If an employee becomes ill during statutory annual leave, they are allowed to take time off at another point, even if this means they have to carry it over to the following year.

Public holidays

There are eight public holidays, but the Dutch law does not require the employers to grant them to employees or to pay for additional work on those days. Contracts should state which public holidays are given as time off. There's no substitution if a holiday falls on a weekend.

Netherlands Public Holiday Calendar 2024

01/01/2024MondayNew Year's DayNieuwjaarsdag
29/03/2024FridayGood FridayGoede Vrijdag
31/03/2024SundayEaster SundayEerste Paasdag
01/04/2024MondayEaster MondayTweede Paasdag
27/04/2024SaturdayKing's DayKoningsdag
05/05/2024SundayLiberation DayBevrijdingsdag
09/05/2024ThursdayAscension DayHemelvaartsdag
19/05/2024SundayPentecostEerste Pinksterdag
20/05/2024MondayWhit MondayTweede Pinksterdag
25/12/2024WednesdayChristmas DayEerste Kerstdag
26/12/2024ThursdaySt. Stephen's DayTweede Kerstdag

Types of Leave in Netherlands

Sick leave

Ill employees are entitled to at least 70% of their wages for up to two years, covered by the employer. It is common for employers to cover up to 100% of the employee's salary in the first year of sickness. In addition, CLAs may introduce further requirements about continuing salary pay during an illness.

The Occupational Health and Safety Service must be notified of an employee's absence due to illness. The employer cannot determine whether the employee's sickness truly makes them incapable of performing work activities. Instead, they will need to rely on the assessment of the Occupational Health and Safety Service. If the employer or the employee do not agree to the evaluation, they can apply for an expert opinion from the UWV or a second opinion with another company doctor.

UWV too needs to be notified of an employee's absence due to illness, beyond 42 weeks. Both sides have certain reintegration obligations that follow from the Gatekeeper Improvement Act. If the employer fails to fulfil theirs, the UWV may impose a sanction on them.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave is 16 weeks, including 4-6 weeks before the baby is due. Maternity pay is 100% of standard wage (capped at €264.57 a day) during the 16 weeks, paid either directly to the employee by the Social Security office or reimbursed to the employer. Multiple babies increase the leave by four weeks.

Employees are entitled to a sickness benefit equal to their pay if they become ill as a result of the pregnancy before the leave starts. The same benefit applies if the employee is unable to return to work after the maternity leave. If the newborn requires long-term hospitalization, the maternity leave can be extended by ten weeks maximum.

After the first six weeks of maternity leave, the employee can request to split the remaining time off. She can take it within 30 consecutive weeks, and her request must be granted unless there are substantial business or service interests to justify a rejection.

The employee's holiday allowance continues to build up during the leave, and the employer is not allowed to ask them to take up holidays during that time.

Paternity leave

Fathers and same-sex partners are entitled to once the number of working hours per week.

Employees are also entitled to five weeks of unpaid leave in the first six months after birth and can claim benefits from the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) for up to 70% of their salary.

Adoption leave

Both parents are entitled to six weeks of paid adoption leave, regardless of the age of the child. They can take the leave up to four weeks before the adoption and 26 weeks after.

There is no extention to the leave if the employee adopts more than one child. 

Parental leave

All parents are entitled to 26 weeks of parental leave, which is partially paid by the government (70% of the salary, capped at 70% of the maximum daily wage). Paid part of the leave (9 weeks) should be taken within the first year of the child's birth. The remaining unpaid weeks can be taken before the child turns 8.

Emergency leave

The emergency leave is intended for unforeseen personal circumstances, such as taking care of a sick family member or in the event of a death in the family. It allows the employee to take time off without any notice, and employers must always accept reasonable requests. Employers are required to continue paying the employee's salary during an emergency leave.

Short personal leave

While not statutory, short paid leaves for events such as a wedding, moving house, GP visits or other family obligations are common. They are not laid down in Dutch law and instead are usually covered by CLAs, handbooks or employment contracts.

Short-Term leave

Employees are entitled to two weeks of short-term leave every 12 months. They should be paid at least 70% of their salary during the leave or the minimum wage in case it falls under it. 

Short-term care is intended for:

  • A sick child living with the employee who is either related to them or is under their foster care
  • A spouse or registered partner’s sick child that lives with them
  • The employee's ill spouse or registered partner
  • A sick family member (other than a child) in the first ascending or descending line.
Long-Term leave

If a child, partner or parent of the employee is seriously ill and requires care, the employee can request long-term care leave. During this period of leave, employers do not have to continue paying the employee's salary.

Long-term care leave can be granted for the duration of six times the employee's weekly working hours during a consecutive period of 12 months.

Work-related injury

Similarly to the sick leave mentioned above, employees are entitled to two years paid leave if injured while working.

If an employee gets injured on the job, the employer must report the accident immediately to an SZW inspector. Employers pay into the workers' compensation system, which is governed by the Work and Income According to Labour Capacity Act.

Employers must record all reported accidents as well as those that resulted in three sick leave days or more. They have to include information on the nature of the accident and its date and make all this information available to employees.

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