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Holiday entitlement in 2022

With the new year just around the corner, here’s a quick reminder of the most important rules on holiday entitlement in 2022, including compulsory holidays and public holidays.

Statutory holidays and days over and above employees’ statutory entitlement

Each year, all employees in the Netherlands are entitled, by law, to take days off each year corresponding to 4 times their weekly working hours. In other words, an employee working 20 hours a week is entitled to 80 hours of holiday a year. And someone with a 40-hour contract is entitled to 160 hours.

    These statutory days of holiday can be carried over to the next year, but have to be used within the first 6 months of that year. Otherwise they lapse. Deviations from this rule are possible only if agreed in an employment contract or collective labour agreement. Statutory holiday entitlement cannot be exchanged for cash.

    Different rules apply to holiday entitlement over and above the statutory entitlement. These ‘extra’ days are agreed in an employment contract or collective labour agreement and can be carried forward for up to 5 years. Rather than taking these days as holiday, employees can choose to have them paid out in cash. This is what happens if, for example, an employee leaves your organisation. 

    Compulsory holidays in 2022

    Each year, employers can set a certain number of days as compulsory holidays. The Friday after Ascension Day (a national public holiday), for example. Your employees then have to take holiday for the number of hours that they would otherwise have worked that day. The option to designate days as compulsory holiday must be included in a collective labour agreement or other agreement. As the employer you also have to announce these days in good time so that your employees can take them into account.

      National public holidays: a day off, or not?

      A national public holiday does not necessarily mean a day off. There is no legal entitlement to a day off on a public holiday. Various sectors – the hospitality, retail and healthcare sectors, for example – carry on working as normal on national public holidays. Here, too, arrangements are agreed in a collective or other agreement.

      Public holidays in 2022

      • New Year’s Day: Saturday, 1 January
      • Good Friday: Friday, 15 April
      • Easter Sunday: 17 April
      • Easter Monday: 18 April
      • King’s Birthday: Wednesday, 27 April
      • Liberation Day: Thursday, 5 May (if provided for in the Collective Labour Agreement)
      • Ascension Day: Thursday, 26 May
      • Whit Sunday: 5 June
      • Whit Monday: 6 June
      • Christmas: 25 and 26 December

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