Statutory holidays are the holidays to which an employee is entitled by law. With a full-time employment contract (40 hours per week), every employee is entitled to at least 20 vacation days per year, which corresponds to 4 times the agreed working hours per week. This is calculated pro rata for part-time employees.
An employer may not deviate from these statutory rules to the detriment of an employee. No distinction is made in the accrual of statutory vacation days for sick and healthy employees.
Statutory holidays will lapse if they are not taken in the build-up year or in the first 6 months thereafter. This is only different if an employee was reasonably unable to take vacation during this entire period due to special circumstances for example, an employee who has been admitted to a hospital.
This regulation prevents that an employee builds up a reservoir of leave and keeps postponing holidays.
It is possible to deviate from this expiry date in the employment contract or if applicable in collective labor agreement in favor of the employee.
We advise employers to check the holidays of there employees and in case necessary inform employees of of their (individual) situation.