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Holiday & Leave Schemes in the Netherlands

Are you new to The Netherlands or are you curious about the process of taking holidays as an employee? This blog out outlines everything you need to know about holiday entitlement and some rules around statutory leave schemes in The Netherlands as an employee. We explain the amount of statutory holidays in The Netherlands, give an overview of the public holidays, explain what ADV & ATV days are and cover three statutory leave schemes (maternity, partner & parental leave). Please note this blog was written on 15th August 2022 and the information is valid up until that date. In case of major changes, we will attempt to update this blog.

How much statutory holidays am I entitled to in The Netherlands?

Employees are entitled to a statutory number of vacation days per year in The Netherlands. In hours, this is 4 times the number of hours an employee’s works per week. Therefore: if an employee work 40 hours per week throughout the year then their holiday entitlement amounts to 160 hours. In days, this is 20 days of paid vacation (source). It is important to note that employees have the right to spend the holidays within 6 months after the end of the year. Therefore, if holidays have not been taken at the end of a given year, they have till June of the next year to take them. After this time, the statutory vacation days will no longer be valid unless an employee has a valid reason for being unable to take vacation.

Public holidays

The Netherlands has a number of Public holidays per year. However, there is no lawful obligation to offer employees leave on these days. To find out when an employer offers employees public holidays, it is best to check your sectors CAO Agreement or employment contract. However, the public holidays in The Netherlands are: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, King’s Day (27 April, Liberation Day (5 May, see also below), Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day (source).

What are ADV and ATV days?

Adv (ArbeidsDuurVerkorting) and ATV both stand for a short-time working. This concept was introduced in the 80s to create more employment in some sectors. The idea is that employees build up more time off by working more hours than contractually stated. For example; if an employee has a contract for 37 hours but works 40 hours a week then they accrue 2 ADV days per week. You can later take this extra time you worked off in the form of ADV or ATV days. However, just like the rest of the contract, there must be an agreement in place to take these days.

The main difference between ATV and ADV days is the way in which the number of working days are shortened. ATV days are usually scheduled days off from the employer. ADV days means that the working week is shortened. For example, a 40 hour working week is shortened to 38 hours, offering two extra ADV hours per week if an employee works full time. Aa result, an employee can work one day a week shorter or take an afternoon free once a week.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave amounts to 16 weeks in total in The Netherlands (source). If an employee is pregnant, they are entitled to 6 weeks pregnancy leave before the child is born and 10 weeks maternity leave once the child is born. If the baby is born before the maternity leave starts, the total of 16 weeks starts from the day after the birth. If an employees takes less than 6 weeks before the baby is born, they can add the remaining amount after the birth of the child. If someone has a multiple birth then the employees right to maternity leave it increased to 20 weeks. In all cases, the employee who has given birth is entitled to maternity pay (source).

Partner leave

If an employee’s partner gives birth then this employee is entitled to 1 week of 100% paid partner leave which can be taken any time in the first 4 weeks after giving birth (source).

Parental leave

If you are an employee with a child up to 8 years of age then you are entitled to parental leave. This amounts to 26 times the amount of hours you work per week.  According to ‘’Parents get paid the first 9 of the 26 weeks parental leave. They receive a benefit from the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV). The UWV benefit for paid parental leave amounts to 70% of the daily wage. Employees must take the paid leave in the child’s first year. Employees are allowed to take this leave as soon as they start working for you. You must allow this leave. During parental leave you are not legally required to pay their salary. Unless this is agreed in the collective labour agreement (CAO) or employment contract’’(source).

Are you looking to work in The Netherlands or do want to hire someone here? Feel free to contact us for any advice on hiring or finding a job in The Netherlands –

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