Types of employee leave in the Netherlands

Types of employee leave in the Netherlands

Are you a professional who wishes to strike a perfect balance between work and personal life?


Do you wish to take leverage of the world’s most amazing corporate culture?


We are already assuming your answer to be a BIG YES!


Well then, there is no place better for you than the Netherlands.


In this article, we are going to shed some light on one such corporate culture benefit that employees can seek & take advantage of, to enjoy a perfect work-life balance in the Netherlands.


Peruse on to get familiar with the different types of leaves, to which, every employee in the Netherlands is entitled.


Holiday leave entitlement


In the Netherlands, the employees get legal minimum vacation days, which multiplies to 4 times their ordinary hours of work each week. For part-time workers, the number of leave hours is determined correspondingly.

Full-time workers are entitled to enjoy 4 weeks of paid vacation, which is equal to 20 days. However, it is normal for employers to offer 25 paid vacations each year, aside from the 10 Dutch public occasions/holidays.
The official public occasions/holidays in the Netherlands are:


1. New Year's Day
2. Good Friday
3. Easter Sunday
4. Easter Monday
5. King’s Day
6. Liberation Day
7. Ascension Day
8. Whit Monday
9. Christmas Day
10. Boxing Day


The employees are entitled to accrue leave from their first day of work. The employees are even encouraged to take as many leaves as they can, in the year in which these are acquired. The compensation for unused leaves is paid according to the Dutch Civil Code at the end of the employment. An excess of leaves taken will be deducted from the compensation or last settlement at the termination of the employment.

During holidays, the employer is obliged to pay the employee as usual. Besides that, the employee is entitled to a holiday allowance, which is at least 8% of the employee’s gross wage of the previous year. The holiday is granted to the employer in the month of May or June.

Sick leave


The essential sick leave entitlement of all the employees is covered in the legislation. The leave policy allows the employees to take an off from work in case of personal illness and receive sick pay. Employers are obliged to pay at least 70% of the employee’s recently earned wage. A few employers also pay 100% of the wages.

In case an impaired employee turns out to be sick, the employer can apply for wage compensation benefits at the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). This is known as a no-risk policy, wherein the employer keeps on paying the worker's compensation and reclaims the advantages against the same.

Care leave


Employees in the Netherlands can take a ‘care leave’ to provide support and take care of an immediate family/household member who has fallen sick. The employee is entitled to take this leave on the condition that the sick person requires care and the employee is the only person to provide the same.

Assuming that the sick person is in the hospital, care leave isn't granted to the employee, in light of the fact that the hospital staff looks after the sick person. If the employee wishes to get entitled to a care leave, a confirmation from a qualified medical practitioner must be provided.


- In a time span of 12 months, the employees are entitled to take short-term care leave. During this time, the employer is entitled to pay at least 70% of their compensation.


- For life-threatening illnesses, an employee is entitled to take long-term care leave of up to 6 times a week’s working hours. However, an employer is not obliged to pay any compensation for this period.


Maternity and parental leave privilege

Maternity leave


The Dutch government allows pregnant employees to take pregnancy leave for a period of 4 to 6 weeks before the due date and 10 weeks of maternity leave post-childbirth. In case the baby is born after the due date, the maternity leave begins after the birth and may exceed up to 16 weeks. Under certain circumstances, the partner gets access to maternity leave.

If an employee is expecting multiple births, they are entitled to at least 20 weeks of pregnancy leaves and maternity pay. An employer can apply for pregnancy and maternity benefits from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).

Paternity/extended partner leave


The paternity leaves privilege kicks in when the partner of the employee gives birth. The employee is entitled to request 1 week of paid leave after the birth and anytime during the first 4 weeks of the birth. The employer is obligated to pay 100% compensation to the employee for this leave.

Partners also have the right to an extended 5 weeks of unpaid leaves after the first 6 months of the birth of their child. Employees who take unpaid leaves will be entitled to claim 70% of their salary from the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV).

Parental leave


Employees are entitled to take 26 weeks of parental leave (during the first 8 years after the child’s life) if they are the legal parent or caretaker of the child. Every employer must grant this leave to their employees. Such leaves are generally unpaid but the employees can compensate their employees according to their wish.

Adoption leave


Employers are expected to give a 6 week time off to the employees who adopt a child. This type of leave is provided to both the parents and the employee can make use of the adoption/foster care allowance that matches their compensation from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).  

An employer may only reject this leave for potent business reasons.

Personal emergency leave


Employers are obliged to grant personal emergency leave to their employees and pay for the same too. Such leaves may be taken by employees in case of unforeseen circumstances including illness, family member’s death, injury, etc.

Special/extraordinary leave


Instances of this leave are:

1. Marriage,
2. Medical checkup,
3. Burial service,
4. Relocation,
5. Study and test purposes, etc., and,

such leave is not required by the law, but, is included in the contract between the employer & employee.

Wrapping it up


There could be multiple reasons why an employee may need to take time off work. However, not all employees are able to have a proper work-life balance, based on the active leave policies in their region or organization. When it comes to the Netherlands, the country is ranked best for work-life balance according to OECD. Thus, making it the right choice for every working professional.


Now that you know about the types of leaves in the Netherlands and how these may help with having a perfect work-life balance, what is stopping you from enjoying the benefits?


If you are looking forward to moving to the Netherlands, our professionals are right here to help you with the immigration process, understanding labour law, tax advisory & many more.

So, connect with our experts at experts@adtsolution.com and learn all about how you may easily move to & start working in the Netherlands.



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