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Statutory and non-statutory holidays: coronavirus update

a woman is reading while on vacation

The corona virus has gripped the world. This also affects your vacation plans. In this blog, we will discuss what influence the corona virus has on your holiday (days), what exactly is the situation with legal and non-statutory holidays and what the rules are again.

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What are the legal and non-statutory holidays?

Every year you accrue vacation days with your employer. By law you are entitled to at least 4 times the agreed working hours per week per year. Do you work 40 hours a week? Then you are entitled to 160 holiday hours per year. These are the legal holidays.

Some collective labor agreements, employment contracts or company regulations state that in addition to the statutory vacation days, you are also entitled to extra-statutory vacation days. You can see whether this is the case and how many there are in your collective labor agreement, employment contract or company regulations.

When do your statutory holidays expire?

Do you have a number of legal vacation days left? Then you automatically take them with you to the next year. According to the rule, you must withdraw these within 6 months after the end of the year in which you accrued them. If you do not do this, the holidays will expire. This means that the statutory vacation days that you accrue in 2020 will expire in July 2021.

Please note: your employment contract or collective labor agreement may state that your statutory vacation days are valid for longer than the 6-month period set by law. In addition, you may not have statutory vacation days paid out during employment.

When do your non-statutory holidays expire?

A different rule applies to the expiry period of holidays that exceed the statutory value. You can take extra days of vacation with you for 5 years. Here too, the term starts at the end of the year in which you accrued them. This means that the vacation days you built up in 2015 in excess of the statutory entitlement can be included for another 5 years, up to and including 2020.

When are there vacation days that exceed the statutory value?

Because there are differences per CLA or employment contract as to whether you have extra-statutory holidays and which terms apply, it is wise to first check your CLA, company regulations or employment contract. In contrast to statutory vacation days, you may have vacation days paid in excess of the statutory minimum during your employment.

Corona and vacation (days): what about exactly?

We have already received the question a number of times: can my employer oblige me to take vacation days if there is less work due to the corona virus? The answer to this question is: no, that is not allowed.

Did you already plan a holiday and do you want to withdraw your holiday because your holiday is canceled due to the corona virus? Then your employer does not have to cooperate in this. Is there enough work? Then your employer can choose to agree to your request for withdrawal based on 'good employment practices'. However, is there little work due to the virus or has replacement already been arranged? Then there is a good chance that your employer will indicate that you should simply take your vacation days, as agreed. Talk to your employer about this.

Are you dealing with this or do you have questions about it? Then contact us. We can help you with this. We can be reached by telephone on 0345-851 963, but you can also email us via