Holiday allowance

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Your employee has a legal right to holiday allowance on top of their wage. Though it is called holiday allowance (vakantiegeld in Dutch), your employee can save or spend it any way they like.

Employees with a zero-hours contract have the legal right to holiday allowance as well.

How much holiday allowance should you pay?

Holiday allowance (in Dutch) must be at least 8% of the employee's gross wage of the previous year. This includes overtime, performance premiums, any commissions, supplements for working unsocial hours and payment in lieu of holiday days.

Holiday allowance is not due over expenses, bonuses, or profit distribution.

Are there exceptions to the right to holiday allowance?

A collective labour agreement (CAO) might state that there is no right to holiday allowance. This only applies when you pay your employee at least 108% of the statutory minimum wage. Do you pay minimum wage? This means your employee still has the legal right to 8% holiday allowance.

Does your employee earn over 3 times the legal minimum wage? You do not have to pay holiday allowance, or you can pay less holiday allowance. Make sure to reach a written agreement with your employee on this.

What if an employee is ill?

Employees continue to build up holiday allowance even when they are ill. If your employee becomes ill during his or her holiday, they can report sick and take holiday leave on a different day.

When do you pay holiday allowance?

Most employers pay holiday allowance in a lump sum in May or June. Would you prefer to pay holiday allowance at a different time of year, or pay holiday allowance in instalments? You will need written consent from your employee.

Agreements on the payment of holiday allowance are included in the CAO, or in the employment contract.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO