Living and working conditions

Print this page


Working conditions

Leave (annual leave, parental leave, etc.)


All employees in the Netherlands are entitled to paid holiday. The statutory minimum applies in all cases. The statutory amount of holiday each year is at least four times the number of working days each week.

Most collective labour agreements provide for an amount of holiday that is higher than the statutory minimum. The number generally varies from 20 to 30 days for full-time employees. Regardless of the amount of your wage, you can claim a minimum holiday allowance of 8 %; this is known as holiday pay.

The Work and Care Act (Wet arbeid en zorg) should be mentioned in connection with leave. Among other things, this Act regulates:

  • the right to up to 10 days’ paid carer’s leave;
  • maternity leave;
  • the right to two working days’ maternity leave for the partner and flexibility for parental leave;
  • the right to adoption leave for both adoptive parents.

Further information on the Work and Care Act and regulations governing leave is available from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

The official public holidays in the Netherlands are as follows:

  • New Year’s Day (1 January)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday and Monday
  • Koningsdag (date of the King’s birthday, 27 April)
  • Liberation Day (5 May) (celebrated once every five years)
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Sunday and Monday
  • Christmas (25 and 26 December)
  • The feast of St Nicholas is celebrated on 5 December . On this day, some companies and organisations close a few hours early.
  • Carnival is celebrated in February in the southern part of the Netherlands. Companies, institutions and schools are often closed for a few days during this period.


Text last edited on: 07/2019

Are you satisfied with the information provided on this page?

Need help?  
Need help?