If you are employed in the Netherlands, you are automatically entitled for a holiday allowance which will usually be handed to you around May.  Every employer in the Netherlands is required to pay its employees an additional sum of money in addition to their gross salary. This sum is known as ‘Vakantiegeld’ in Dutch, which translates approximately as ‘Holiday/Vacation Money.’ It’s also known as the 13th month’s salary since it’s roughly comparable to one extra month’s pay. The majority of persons are either directly employed by an organization or are members of a Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) as temporary workers.

How it is calculated

In the Netherlands, holiday allowance is calculated at 8% of your total yearly gross salary. This amount is usually built up during your time as an employee in the months June to May, unless agreed differently with employer. For example, if your salary is €4000 per month then your salary will be €3840. It is calculated as follows:

Gross monthly salary: €4000
Yearly salary: €4000 x 12= €48000
Holiday allowance: €48000* 8%= €3840

Special arrangements

Some employees request their holiday allowance to be paid on a monthly basis instead of accumulated then paid in May. It is always possible to have such an arrangement as long as you discuss it with your employer.

Vacation days

Full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days (four weeks) of paid leave each year under Dutch law. This is calculated as four times the amount of hours worked each week.

Part-time employees are likewise entitled to four times their weekly working hours. Part-time employees who work 24 hours per day (3 days per week) are legally entitled to 12 days of paid leave per year.

Many Dutch employers provide more than the minimum of paid holidays. Many firms provide employees with between 25 and 30 days of paid vacation leave. Some firms may allow employees to “purchase” days off. Learn more about vacation days and other types of leaves.