The holidays are just around the corner and many working Dutch people are taking time off. But suppose the business is unexpectedly busy and your employer needs you. Can you leave be withdrawn? And what if your boss obliges you to take leave because there is nothing to do at work?
At the beginning of this month, a mega job will arrive at the store. All hands on deck, everyone has to help to complete the assignment for the new year. The employer even asks whether a number of people want to continue working during the holidays. Very annoying, but ‘nothing is impossible’, says labour lawyer Karel Leenhouts of Bierman Advocaten. If it is necessary for the company that an employee nevertheless comes to work because, for example, production otherwise comes to a standstill, the interest of the employer always outweighs, Leenhouts indicates.
“The employer must, for example, compensate for the damage caused by a booked holiday.” Still, there is hope for the people who have already taken days: if an employer has decided that you can no longer get free during the holidays, he must communicate in writing within two weeks after your application for leave and describe well why he or she really needs you. So you can enjoy the free days that have already been approved.
Are you considering a new leave request? Then pay attention: an employer has the right not to allow a requested leave. “But then there must be a compelling business interest,” says Leenhouts. , If that is the case, that is ultimately determined by a judge. It is therefore not possible to lay down a rule because it differs per company what that weighty business interest entails. It’s a grey area. “According to Leenhouts, an employer can reject the leave request if he gets into trouble and your days off have a negative effect on the company.
Just like the withdrawal of leave, it can also happen that an employer would like the staff to take a certain period off, for example, if the company comes to a standstill around the holidays. After all, the staff cannot get to work, so employees get a compulsory bridge day split in their stomachs. That is not the intention: the main rule is that the right to ask freely lies with the employee himself. Does an employer want to deviate from this? Then he must record this in writing and both parties must agree.
According to Leenhouts, it must be an exceptional situation, such as a factory that comes to a standstill due to major maintenance. , As an employee, you can still challenge this, but I have never experienced that. Usually, there is an arrangement for this or the parties will work it out together. “You also have to ask yourself what the benefits are. It is a long time to go to court, so it is no use for the holidays. Also, labour relations do not get better if you try to go against the decision of your employer.
Leenhouts wants to emphasize that every employee who works full-time is entitled to twenty vacation days. Many employers often give staff more vacation days than this statutory minimum, which we call the extra-statutory vacation days. “The non-statutory expires after five years, the legal already six months after the calendar year in which they were built up,” says Leenhouts. , You have to record this before July 1, otherwise, they expire. Unless, for example, you are unable to take them in due to long-term illness. ”
You are therefore obliged to take the statutory vacation days. Employers generally find it more pleasant if vacation days are taken and not saved, Leenhouts knows. , Many employers are afraid of a reservoir of vacation days, which can be used in one go to be able to use sabbatical for example. If an employer does not want this, agreements must be made about this.”