Leave Policy in the Netherlands

Shraddha Saxena
Manage the Netherlands' leave policies and holidays with Gloroots, streamlining annual leave, holiday requests, and employee leave types efficiently.

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Table of Content

Navigating the leave policies and holiday regulations in the Netherlands is essential for effective workforce management. This guide covers various types of paid and unpaid leave, including public holidays, annual leave, sick leave, and parental leave. Gloroots provides the tools to manage these entitlements seamlessly, ensuring compliance and supporting employee well-being. Employers looking to hire employees from the Netherlands or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in the Netherlands must be well-versed in these regulations to maintain a compliant and efficient workplace.

Annual Leave (Vacation)

Employees in the Netherlands are entitled to:

  • A minimum of 20 days of annual leave, with most receiving 25 days.
  • Statutory vacation days are in addition to public holidays.

Leave can be taken all at once or in instalments:

  • Employees must notify their employer of leave dates in advance.
  • Employers can deny leave requests for compelling reasons.

Statutory annual leave typically expires six months into the following year.

Additional holiday entitlements (bovenwettelijke vakantiedagen):

  • Accrued beyond the statutory minimum.
  • Typically expires after five years.

During annual leave, employees are entitled to:

  • Their regular salary.
  • A holiday allowance equal to 8% of the employee's annual gross salary.

Employers cannot:

  • Replace the minimum statutory leave for that year with payment unless the employment contract is ending.
  • Payments can be made in lieu of granting non-statutory holidays or any other accrued holidays from previous years.

Public Holidays

  • January 1 (Monday): New Year’s Day
  • March 29 (Friday): Good Friday (Applicable depending on company policy/per CBA)
  • March 31 (Sunday): Easter Sunday
  • April 1 (Monday): Easter Monday
  • April 27 (Saturday): King’s Day
  • May 9 (Thursday): Ascension Day
  • May 19 (Sunday): Whit Sunday
  • May 20 (Monday): Whit Monday
  • December 25 (Wednesday): Christmas Day
  • December 26 (Thursday): 2nd Day of Christmas

Sick Days

If an employee is unable to work due to illness, the employer is required to pay at least 70% of their most recent wages plus a holiday allowance for up to two years. The specific percentage paid depends on the employment contract and/or CLA provisions. It is common in the Netherlands to pay 100% of the wage during the first year.

During the first year of illness:

  • The employer must pay 70% of the employee’s regular wages (capped at 70% of the Dutch maximum premium wage).
  • If this amount is less than the minimum wage, a supplement is required to meet the minimum wage (1,995 Euros per month as of July 2023).

During the second year of illness:

  • The employer must continue to pay 70% of the employee’s regular wages.
  • There is no requirement to supplement if the amount is below the minimum wage.

It is standard practice, as outlined in most CLAs, to pay 100% of the full salary during the first year of illness and 70% during the second year.

Maternity Leave

  • Pregnant employees in the Netherlands are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, divided into prenatal and postnatal periods.
  • Prenatal leave requires employees to take 4-6 weeks off before the expected due date (zwangerschapsverlof).
  • Postnatal leave involves taking the remaining 10-12 weeks starting from the date of the child's birth (bevallingsverlof).
  • Maternity pay is 100% of the employee’s daily wage, based on the previous year's average earnings, and is capped at 256.54 Euros per day.
  • Employers are responsible for making the payments but can reclaim a portion from The Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV).
  • If pregnancy or childbirth results in incapacity for work, the employee is eligible for benefits equivalent to 100% of her salary for up to a year after the birth date.

Paternity Leave

  • Partners are eligible for 1 week of 'birth leave,' which must be utilized within the first 4 weeks after the birth.
  • This leave applies to both full-time and part-time workers and can be taken all at once or distributed over the 4-week period.
  • Employers are required to provide full pay during 'birth leave.'
  • Partners can also opt for Extended Partner Leave, lasting up to 5 weeks (25 days), which can be taken within the 6 months following the birth.
  • Extended Partner Leave can be taken in a single block or spread out over the 6-month period.
  • While Extended Partner Leave is unpaid, employees might qualify for up to 70% of their salary from The Employment Insurance Agency (UWV).

Parental Leave

  • Parents are entitled to take childcare leave for a maximum duration of 26 times their weekly working hours.
  • The initial 9 weeks must be taken within the first year of the child’s life.
  • During these 9 weeks, parents receive payment from The Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) at up to 70% of their daily wage, with a cap of 256.54 Euros per day.
  • The remaining 17 weeks are unpaid, unless otherwise specified in a Collective Labour Agreement or Employment Contract.
  • These 17 weeks can be used at any time until the child turns 8 years old.

Adoption  leave 

  • Parents who adopt or foster a child are eligible for up to 6 weeks of leave.
  • This leave can be taken in one continuous period or distributed over the first 26 weeks after the child arrives home.
  • During this time, employees can request an adoption allowance from The Employment Insurance Agency (UWV).
  • At least 3 weeks' notice must be provided before commencing this leave.

Care Leave

Employees are entitled to leave for caring for a sick relative:

  • Emergency Leave: Workers can take a 1-day paid leave for unexpected urgent matters.
  • Short-term Care Leave: Employees can take up to double their weekly working hours (up to a maximum of 2 weeks) to care for a sick parent, child, or partner if no one else is available to provide the care. During this leave, the employer pays up to 70% of the salary.
  • Long-term Care Leave: Employees can take up to six times their weekly working hours (up to a maximum of 6 weeks) to care for a seriously ill parent, child, or partner. This leave is unpaid.

Hassle-Free Leave Policy Management in the Netherlands   with Gloroots

At Gloroots, we recognize that navigating leave policies can be intricate, particularly when expanding your business and hiring globally. Our platform guarantees adherence to Netherlands's labor regulations, maintains precise leave balances, processes leave requests effortlessly, and produces detailed leave reports. By partnering with Gloroots, you can focus on scaling your business while we handle the complexities of employee leave management. Contact us to discover how Gloroots can streamline your HR processes and improve your operations in the Netherlands

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