De Unie, in your interest

Your work and income

De Unie in action – working time reduction

08 September 2023

You are not getting the employment conditions you are entitled to. What now?
The legal specialists of De Unie assist you during various differences of opinion and conflicts in the workplace. To make it clearer what exactly you can do with us, we highlight a true situation every month. We describe the member's question, tell us what De Unie has done to resolve the situation and share the outcome. In this edition: be entitled to employment conditions retroactively, while your employer initially refuses to grant these employment conditions.

The problem

The collective labor agreement of our member (61) states that some employees are entitled to reduced working hours from the age of 57, including him. He just found out about this, so he has not yet had this employment condition. When he asks his employer whether this is still allowed retroactively, the answer is no: the reduction in working hours from the past has expired. So he contacted De Unie.

The principle

The collective labor agreement states that certain employees over the age of 57 are entitled to a reduction in working hours. Depending on your exact age, you will be given a number of days off per year. The employer schedules these days in the year in which they are accrued. It just does not say what happens if the employer does not do this. And there is also nothing mentioned about an (active) reporting obligation in the collective labor agreement.

It is interesting to make a comparison with vacation days. These expire, and therefore must be withdrawn before a certain time. It is generally accepted in case law that employers must ensure that employees can take their vacation days. This includes giving a warning if they threaten to expire: if they do not do this, the days may not expire.

This has De Unie done

First, we pointed out to the employer the scheduling obligation in the collective labor agreement. This was of no concern to him: the days have expired, and the unfulfilled scheduling obligation does not change that. We then pointed out to the employer the comparison with vacation days. Our argument: if we assume that short-time working hours will no longer apply - just like regular leave - then it is up to the employer to warn just before the days expire.


The employer appeared to be sensitive to the comparison with vacation days. He then decided to grant the reduction in working hours from the age of 57.

Join now De Unie. This is possible from 0,-


Need help from our legal specialists?

Not every situation is the same. Please contact us immediately: our legal specialists will be happy to assist you. For example, if you do not receive employment conditions, even though you are entitled to them. Our Service Center can be reached every working day from 8.30:17.00 AM to XNUMX:XNUMX PM and 0345 851 963.

Related posts

Become a member for free