Personnel: Sick employees on holiday & sickness during holiday leave – this is what employers should know!

It is fall break. Many employees take holidays to go where the sun is. This is a good time for employers to take a close look at the topic of sickness during holiday leave. What happens if an employee falls ill when he or she is on holiday leave? Or if an employee on long-term sick leave intends to go on holiday? In this article we will explain what you need to know about sick employees and their holidays.

Statutory number of holidays
The statutory number of holiday is four times the employee’s number of working hours per week. An employee working full time is thus entitled to 20 holidays. By employment contract or collective agreement more holiday days can be agreed upon. These days are referred to as days exceeding the statutory entitlement.

Sick during holiday leave
If an employee calls in sick during his holiday, he or she is no longer on holiday leave but on sick leave. Sick leave must apply to the days on which the employee is sick and holidays cannot be written off. The employee must call in sick in the customary manner as soon as possible, even if abroad.  As employer, you can request the employee to submit a medical certificate.

Employees on long-term sick leave on holiday
Employees on sick leave accrue holidays on the same basis as employees who are not on sick leave. No distinction is made among them. If a sick employee intends to go on holiday he must ask permission from the employer. As an employer, you are in principle obliged to accept this but you can impose the condition that the employee agrees to writing off the time as holidays so that there won’t be an excessive amount of holidays accrued. Make sure that this agreement will be made in writing.

Deducting sick leave from holidays
Thus, employees on sick leave accrue holidays. In certain cases it is possible to deduct (part of) the days on which the employee is absent due to sickness from the holidays.
More information
This newsletter provides a brief insight into Dutch employment law and the potential consequences for your Embassy. But the Embassy desk of our firm also focuses on:

  • Labour law
  • Rent law / Real estate
  • Investment / Doing business in the Netherlands
  • Matrimonial issues
  • Immunity issuesJan Dop, LL.M, Head of Embassy Desk

Jan Dop,
Head of Embassy Desk