22 July 2022, by Victoria Séveno

A recent EU-wide study found that people with jobs in the Netherlands need an average of 18 paid holidays per year in order to fully relax and recharge – one day more than the European average. 

Dutch workers need an average of 18 holidays a year

According to HR and payroll service provider SD Worx, anyone working in the Netherlands needs a little more time to unwind than their European neighbours. While workers in the EU need an average of 17 days off to recharge, Dutch workers need 18 in order to properly relax. 

This stat is pretty interesting, considering the fact that thousands of people in the Netherlands work part-time jobs. Both full-time and part-time employees are legally entitled to four times the number of hours they work per week in vacation days, which amounts to 20 days for full-time workers. 

Therefore, at just 18 days, the study finds that the legal holiday requirements offer more than enough time for employees to relax. The study also found that people in the Netherlands are big fans of taking fixed holidays, with 45 percent of respondents saying they book the same days off every year – a habit that was also found to be popular in Belgium and Italy.

Importance of holidays in achieving optimal work-life balance

While holidays are supposed to be an opportunity for those with jobs to fully switch off from their work, many across the continent still find themselves checking emails or answering phone calls when they’re supposed to be out of the office. This habit was found to be particularly prevalent amongst Dutch workers: 37 percent of survey respondents admitted to keeping up with work when on holiday, and 30 percent said they found it difficult to switch off. 

“It is important that employees experience sufficient flexibility in their holiday planning, so that they can strive for an optimal work-life balance,” says Mark Bloem, director at SD Worx Netherlands. “What that balance ultimately looks like differs from employee to employee. Some like to completely disconnect from work during their holiday, while others like to have a helicopter view.”

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