Tuesday 11 August 2020

Ministers back plans for an extra day off on May 5 to celebration Liberation Day

The flags are flown on Liberation Day. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The cabinet has agreed to do its utmost to make sure as many workers as possible have a day off on Liberation Day, prime minister Mark Rutte told MPs on Wednesday.

Social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees will kick off the talks by approaching employers and unions about the option of having an extra day of paid holiday on May 5, Rutte said.

Days off are regulated in pay and conditions agreements, and are not subject to political interference. ‘But let us try and get it organised,’ Rutte said.

Liberation Day is a national holiday, along side January 1, Kings Day and Ascension Day, two days at Easter, two days at Christmas and one at Whitsun. But most pay deals do not give their staff the day off on May 5 although some include a paid day’s holiday every five years.

Civil servants are free on May 5 and schools are closed.

D66 MPs say they are prepared to sacrifice Whit Monday as a paid day’s leave, but that drew ire from the small Christian party ChristenUnie. An extra day off on May 5 should not be at the expense of a Christian holiday, CU leader Gert Jan Segers said.

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