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Minimum holiday entitlement


paid public holidays

Paid public holidays per year

Additional leave compliance rules and complexities

Working patterns

Employees aged 18 and over can’t work more than 12 hours per shift and a maximum of 60 hours per week. Hours per week must not exceed 48 hours on average, based on a period of 16 weeks.

Source: https://www.arboportaal.nl/onderwerpen/regels-voor-werktijden

Night work

A night worker is someone who works at least 1 hour between 12 am and 6 am. There are many regulations around night workers in the Netherlands;

  • Night workers cannot exceed 40 hours a week on average, which is based over a period of 16 weeks. This is if the employee works 16-night shifts or more in a 16 week period.
  • The maximum working time of a night shift cannot exceed 10 hours.
  • An employee can only work a maximum of 5 times, lasting 12 hours, every 2 weeks.
  • If a night shift finishes after 2 am then there must be a rest period of 14 hours before starting work again.
  • Night workers can work a maximum of 26 times over a 16 week period that ends after 2 am.
  • Employees cannot work more than 7 consecutive shifts if one of those is a night shift. This can be increased to 8 if agreed between the employer and the employee.
  • If an employee works less than 16-night shifts over a 16 week period, they can then work on average 48 hour weeks.

Source: https://www.arboportaal.nl/onderwerpen/nachtdienst/vraag-en-antwoord/welke-regels-gelden-er-voor-nachtdiensten | https://www.arboportaal.nl/onderwerpen/nachtdienst/wat-zegt-de-wet-over-nachtdiensten


If an employee works more than 5.5 hours, they are entitled to a 30-minute break. This can be split into two 15-minute breaks.

If an employee works more than 10 hours, they are entitled to a 45-minute break. This can be split into breaks of at least 15 minutes.

Source: https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0007671/2018-01-01

Minimum wage

There is no hourly minimum wage for employees in the Netherlands as the number of hours in a working week varies from business to business. There is however a monthly and weekly minimum wage.

Monthly: €1,264.80
Weekly: €291.90

Source: https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0002638/2019-07-01


Employers must pay employees for the overtime they work unless it is stipulated in their contract that they are required to do a certain number of overtime hours. If it is in the employees’ contract, then the overtime can either be paid or be used as a holiday allowance instead.

Source: https://www.togetherabroad.nl/blogs/3/svufxd-overtime-in-the-netherlands

Annual leave

Employees receive 4 times the number of hours they complete a week as holiday allowance. For example, if an employee worked 37.5 hours a week every week, they would be entitled to 150 hours of holiday a year. Which would be equivalent to 20 days’ holiday.

Source: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/vakantiedagen-en-vakantiegeld/vraag-en-antwoord/op-hoeveel-vakantiedagen-heb-ik-recht

Public Holidays

There are a total of 10 (11 every 5 years) public holidays in the Netherlands:

  • New Year’s Day – 1st January
  • Good Friday – Varied date but always a Friday
  • Easter – Varied date but always a Sunday
  • Easter Monday – Varied Date but always a Monday
  • King’s Day – 27th April
  • Liberation Day – 5th May (every 5 years)
  • Ascension Day – Varied date but always a Thursday
  • Whit Sunday – Varied date but always a Sunday
  • Whit Monday – Varied date but always a Monday
  • Christmas Day – 25th December
  • Boxing Day – 26th December

Source: https://dutchreview.com/culture/holidays/public-holidays-netherlands-2019/

Sick leave

If an employee is off sick, then the employer is required to pay at least 70% of their wages for a maximum of two years.

Year 1: Pay at least 70% of their wage, which must not fall below the minimum wage
Year 2: Continue to pay 70% of their wage but it may fall below the minimum wage

Source: https://www.arboportaal.nl/onderwerpen/ziekteverzuim

Maternity leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, which is to be paid at 100% of their salary. Maternity leave will start 4 to 6 weeks before the due date.

Source: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/zwangerschapsverlof-en-bevallingsverlof/vraag-en-antwoord/hoe-lang-duurt-zwangerschapsverlof-en-bevallingsverlof | https://www.arboportaal.nl/onderwerpen/zwanger/zwangerschapsverlof-bevallingsverlof

Paternity leave

The father receives 5 days of paid maternity leave once their partner gives birth. The leave does not have to start on the day of birth and can be taken in the first four weeks after birth.

Source: https://www.arboportaal.nl/onderwerpen/zwanger/zwangerschapsverlof-bevallingsverlof

Adoption leave

Employees are entitled to 6 weeks of adoption or foster leave. Employees can take leave 4 weeks before the birth and up to 26 weeks after the birth.

Employers do not have to pay the employee for the leave, instead, the employee must apply for benefits with the UWV.

Source: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/adoptieverlof-en-pleegzorgverlof/vraag-en-antwoord/hoe-lang-duurt-adoptieverlof-of-pleegzorgverlof | https://www.mkbservicedesk.nl/468/wat-adoptieverlof.htm