Special leave

In the Netherlands there is legal special leave (wettelijk verlof) and time off (bijzonder verlof). Both can be paid, unpaid or partially paid. As to which bijzondere verlof [time off] exists and how both variants are paid (fully, partially or not) is regulated in your collective agreement or employment contract.

Wettelijk verlof [special leave]

The following regulations are laid down in the Work and Health Act (Wet arbeid en zorg). On the Dutch government website you can find a detailed description of these different regulations:

Your cao or employment contract may contain agreements that supplement or deviate from the legal special leave.

Bijzonder verlof [time off]

Your, employment contract or company regulations state when you are entitled to time off. These agreements state when this leave is possible, how long the leave lasts, and whether the leave is paid or unpaid. Your employer or the human resources department can help you.

Reasons for special leave

You can request special leave for special family circumstances or for a special event. For example, for:

  • the funeral of a family member
  • your wedding or the wedding of a family member
  • your service anniversary
  • a move
  • an examination
  • a visit to the doctor
  • activities for a labour union

Holiday entitlement when applying for a job

You are not entitled to (paid) leave to apply for a job with another employer. Do you have an interview at times when you normally work? Then you must take leave for it. Attention: your cao or company rules may contain other arrangements.

Doctor’s appointments

There is no unconditional right to see a doctor during working hours. Employees must, as far as possible, go to the doctor or dentist on their own time. If it is not possible to see a doctor outside working hours, you are entitled to a short period of authorised absence.

Leave for pregnancy examinations

If you have a pregnancy check-up during working hours, you are entitled to leave. You do not have to take any leave hours for this. In addition, continued payment of wages applies during pregnancy check-ups and travel time. This is regulated in the Working Hours Act (Arbeidstijdenwet).

Leave in the event of the death of a family member

If an immediate family member dies, you are entitled to special leave. This leave is intended to take care of the necessary matters. Leave due to an exceptional situation can be converted into special leave.