Dutch Vacation Law: Holiday Allowance, Benefits and Pay in the Netherlands. A Guide for Employees and Employers


One of the most important questions, both employees and employers should ask is: what is the legal amount of holiday entitlement? When you employ staff in the Netherlands, you must comply with local statutory regulations regarding holiday entitlements.

That is why we have created the ultimate Dutch vacation leave checklist with the list of Dutch public holidays for 2020.

What is the minimum number of holidays in the Netherlands?

The minimum number of vacation days in the Netherlands per year is four times the amount of days worked per week. Which is typically 20 days in case of a full-time employee. In the event of part-time employment, the number of leave hours is calculated proportionally. However, it is common practice for full-time employees to be granted to up to 25 holiday days per year. Dutch employees may be entitled even more annual leave days as the result of personal arrangements with their employers.

Holiday allowance in the Netherlands

Holiday allowance in the Netherlands (“vakentiegel”) is a gross payment of 8% of your total gross salary. Although employers are obliged to pay this 8% holiday allowance to their staff, it is up to them whether to pay it all at once in may or spread it over 12 months instead. 

It is important to point out that Dutch holiday allowance is not part of your annual salary, but paid on top of it. 

Taking holidays in the Netherlands

Employees must take their holidays within 6 months after the end of the year they were accrued. Nonetheless, there are exceptions to this rule. If an employee is not able to take their vacations due to sickness or workload, they will not lose their unused holidays within a five-year period.

Employee benefits in the Netherlands

As of 1 January 2012, “sick” employees are treated equally to the “healthy” ones. As a result, holiday days will be accumulated as normal during a sick leave.

Dutch Public holidays 2020

In additional to statutory holidays, employees in the Netherlands get 11 public holidays.

In 2020 they fall on the following days:

1 January – Wednesday – New Year’s Day – National Holiday

10 April – Friday – Good Friday – Government Holiday

12 April – Sunday – Easter Day – National Holiday

13 April – Monday – Easter Monday – National Holiday

27 April – Monday – King’s Birthday – National Holiday

5 May – Tuesday – Liberation Day – National Holiday

21 May – Thursday – Ascension Day – National Holiday

31 May – Sunday – Pentecost Sunday – National Holiday

1 June – Monday – Whit Monday – National Holiday

25 December – Friday – Christmas Day – National Holiday

26 December – Saturday – St. Stephen’s Day – National Holiday