News 19 June, 2024

Obligation for employers: inform your employees about the vacation days timely

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Obligation for employers: inform your employees about the vacation days timely

According to Dutch law, employees have the right to use their statutory vacation days within a period of six months after the end of the year in which they were accrued. The purpose behind this is to ensure that employees have a break from work to relax and recharge, which in turn helps them to come back to work with renewed energy and improved focus.

Employer’s responsibility

According to Dutch case law, the employer is responsible for informing employees about the deadline related to their statutory vacation days. In case the employer fails to inform the employee, and the employee will not use the vacation days, the vacation days will not lapse six months after the end of the year in which they were accrued. This means they still can be claimed. In its turn, this may lead to legal disputes and can have a negative impact on the employer-employee relationship, which is not in the best interest of either party.

Information employees

To avoid any misunderstandings and to ensure that employees are aware of their rights and obligations, employers are strongly advised to take proactive steps in informing their employees about the deadline related to statutory vacation days. For example, the employer can inform the employees in February and May / June 2024 that the statutory vacation days accrued in 2023 will lapse on 1 July 2024, if they will not be used. This can be done through various means, such as personal letters, email or even internal newsletters. The objective is to ensure that employees are informed and can make well-informed decisions about using their statutory vacation days. By keeping employees informed about their rights and obligations, employers can foster a healthy and productive workplace, which will benefit both parties.

Accurate record keeping

Moreover, it is essential to maintain accurate records of the employee’s annual leave, including the days taken and the days remaining. This will help to avoid misunderstandings or disputes regarding the employee’s entitlement to vacation days and will ensure that the employer is following relevant legislation and regulations.

Finally, the importance of proper management of annual leave for the benefit of both the employer and the employee should be emphasized. By being proactive in taking the necessary steps to inform employees about their rights and obligations and maintaining accurate records, employers can avoid legal disputes and maintain a positive work environment.

Please be informed that as employer you have an obligation to provide information to employees: it is very important to inform employees that their statutory vacation days will lapse if they do not use those days. Please make sure that as the employer you will inform your employees in a timely fashion and precisely over their holiday entitlements. For example, at the end of each calendar year, you can provide an overview of the outstanding statutory holidays that must be taken before 1 July. A longer expiry period may be agreed upon by a collective labour agreement or in written (if applicable). If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our GMS-team.

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