[Netherlands] One In Ten Workers Say Employer Withholding Holiday Pay

21 MAY 2020

A recent survey reveals close to one in every ten Dutch workers reporting that their annual holiday pay is being withheld by their employer because of the Covid-19 crisis, NL Times details the findings.

The survey was carried out by the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions (CNV), the CNV released its results on May 15. 

The results showed that the employers of around eight per cent of the 1,700 respondents surveyed are refusing to issue holiday pay. 11 per cent of those interviews said that they do not know whether or not their employer will issue the pay.

Holiday pay in the Netherlands is usually eight per cent of an employee's gross wage. It is ordinarily paid by employers at the end of May. Although the percentage of earnings comprising holiday pay has varied over the years, the scheme itself has been a legal obligation for employers since 1969, after the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act was passed.

"Eight per cent [of employers withholding holiday pay] is a very high number. Converted, this concerns more than half a million working people who do not receive holiday pay. Holiday pay, however, is a legal right. We understand that many entrepreneurs are in serious trouble. But it is not easy to deduct holiday pay unilaterally. Certainly not because many entrepreneurs now receive government support to continue to pay the salaries," Piet Fortuin - CNV chairman - said.

 "We, therefore, want to call on the whole of the Netherlands to report to us if they do not receive holiday pay. You can only deduct holiday pay in consultation with the employee," Mr Fortuin added.

The CNV launched a contact form on May 15 to make it easier for workers to report employers who are failing to meet their holiday pay obligations. The CNV has reportedly warned these employers that it will consider pursuing legal action if verbal negotiations are unsuccessful. (Link via original reporting)