Three-week summer breaks are the norm in the Netherlands


Three-week summer holidays away from work have become the norm in the Netherlands, news website reported on Monday.

A full-time worker has an average of 25 paid holiday days a year and it is up to them when to take a break. And while holidays are usually agreed between employee and boss, there is nothing in the law to stop someone from taking five weeks off if they want to, said.

“Pay and conditions deals don’t include this and there is nothing in law to say it can’t be done,” employers’ advisory group AWVN told the website.

“A worker can decide themselves what to do about their holiday and a request can only be refused if there are important company interests at stake, such as capacity in a given period.”

Labour law expert Pascal Besselink told that three weeks off are now the norm. “But this does not mean you can’t take longer off, for example if you want to visit family who live a long way away,” he said.

In fact, there are very few legal conflicts about holidays in the Netherlands, Besselink said.

The Netherlands staggers its school holidays to make sure everyone is not away at once.

Schools in the Noord Nederland region, which includes Amsterdam, officially broke up last week, meaning the entire country’s schools are now on their summer break for a four-week period.

The central region’s schools which broke up on July 8, will be the first to return on August 20.

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