500,000 workers say they're getting stiffed on their vacation pay
Nearly one in every ten Dutch claim that their employer is withholding their annual holiday pay due to the Covid-19 crisis, a survey by the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions (CNV) revealed on Friday. According to the group's findings, some eight percent of the 1,700 respondents interviewed said that their employer is refusing to issue holiday pay, while 11 percent claimed that they do not know whether or not their employer will issue the pay.
In the Netherlands, holiday pay typically stands at eight percent of an employee's gross wages, and is usually paid out by employers at the end of May. While the percentage of one's earnings that makes up holiday pay has varied throughout the years, the scheme has been a legal obligation for employers since 1969, following the passage of the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act.
"Eight percent [of employers withholding holiday pay] is a very high number. Converted, this concerns more than half a million working people who do not receive holiday pay. Holiday pay, however, is a legal right. We understand that many entrepreneurs are in serious trouble. But it is not easy to deduct holiday pay unilaterally. Certainly not because many entrepreneurs now receive government support to continue to pay the salaries," explained CNV chairman Piet Fortuin.
"We therefore want to call on the whole of the Netherlands to report to us if they do not receive holiday pay. You can only deduct holiday pay in consultation with the employee," he added.
In order to achieve this, the CNV launched a contact form on Friday designed to let workers report employers who are reneging on their holiday pay obligations. The CNV also warns such employers that they will consider pursuing legal action if verbal negotiations do not turn out to be fruitful.