Holiday pay is mutating into an annual ‘bonus’:


The holiday supplement which Dutch workers traditionally receive at the end of May is increasingly being re-labeled a ‘free choice’ payment which can be paid out at any time of the year, news website reported on Friday.

Holiday pay is roughly the equivalent of a month’s salary which is saved up by employers on behalf of their staff. The original aim was to help people pay for a summer break.

But Joke van der Velpen from salary processor Visma-Raet told news website that only about half of workers still get ‘old fashioned holiday pay’.

In an increasing number of pay deals, the cash can be paid out when workers want it and they can decide what to do with it, Van der Velpen said. In fact, research by published earlier this year suggested 30% of people already spend the money on something other than a holiday.

Family spending institute Nibud said supported the concept of an annual payout because research shows people spend their money more wisely. Currently one in five people use the money to pay debts.

And debt collection agency Flanderijn told that its staff are often asked to ‘wait until May when I have the money’.

All workers and benefit claimants have the right to holiday pay, which is equivalent to 8% of their annual income. The concept dates back to 1910 and the money was traditionally paid out at the end of May to make sure people actually used it to pay for a break.

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