Third of Dutch workers more desperate for free time than wage increase: union
Over a third of working people in the Netherlands would rather have more leave than more money, according to a CNV study among 3,000 workers conducted by Maurice de Hond. Over half (55 percent) of working people would like to save up more leave via their employer.
“This indicates that the working Netherlands is yearning for extra leave. Breathing space. CNV will therefore realize more schemes for saving leave in collective labor agreements,” union chairman Piet Fortauin said.
Almost half of the respondents said they’d use their saved-up leave to work one day less for an extended period. “This is in line with our plea for the 30-hour work week. Many workers are overburdened and want to spend more time with their children, volunteer work, or informal care tasks,” Fortuin said. “We are moving toward a new labor market in which the balance between work and private life is becoming increasingly important. A development we cannot ignore, especially now that we have to work longer and longer.”
Saving leave is popular but difficult to implement. If the employer goes bankrupt, for example, employees can often forget about their unused leave. Employees also lose leave days when changing jobs, and it is paid out at a high tax rate.
“Employees sometimes come up empty-handed after years of saving. That is why we are looking for solutions to this problem together with employers,” Fortuin said. In many sectors, the union is negotiating for leave-saving schemes outside the company, for example, by placing the accrued leave in a foundation.