I'm a developer in Belgium. We had to work during the full week-end but will get either recuperation days or money as a compensation.

What is the most advantageous to take?

Bonus question: I have heard that the money will be taxed at at least 50%, making the recuperation days more advantageous, but is it true and how big is the difference, taking into account the opportunity cost of the recuperation day. If a working day is brings 100€ net to the employee, a paid recuperation day is worth 200€ ( 100€ because it is paid, 100€ because of the opportunity cost of the holiday day ), but how does it compare to the net money compensation ( before and after tax)?

  • So what happens when you choose recuperation days and say "I'll have Tuesday & Wednesday next week" then they come back and say sorry we are busy those days - you can't go then... Seen it happen...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 8:39
  • If you are not in dire need of extra money, it is always "better" in terms of value to compensate on free time.
    – LaintalAy
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:23
  • What is best entirely depends on if your able to take time off regularly or not
    – Donald
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 11:39
  • This seems like the definition of an opinion-based question. I'm not sure how anyone can answer except to say, "which one do you want? If you have some objective criteria, or some other way to rephrase this to make it less opinion based, you might have better luck.
    – dwizum
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 12:48

4 Answers 4


What is the most advantageous to take?

Recuperation days - unless you take time off, your mental health will suffer (even if you don't realise it). Long term, that's more important than a few quid here or there.

(The response may be different if the biggest cause of stress in your life right now is monetary. If it were, I suspect you wouldn't be asking the question).

  • Here working the week-end was just a one-time thing, so I'm not too worried about long-term mental health... I'm just wondering about how the compensations compare to each other.
    – Heschoon
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 8:37

Do you personally value time off or money more? Which one would add up to more 'net value' is sort of a moot point.

If you want more time off and could utilize the day off to take a longer vacation, it could prove to be more valuable than the money. However, if you don't feel like you have too few holidays and would just stay in the house and do nothing (nothing wrong with staying in the house btw), and you don't really feel you get all that much out of the extra day off, then the money could be more valuable.

Rather than seeing this as a game of sums, just choose which one you would get more enjoyment out of.

  • This is a fair point, however, having an idea of how much the net money compensation would be can help decide what will give me the most enjoyment.
    – Heschoon
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 8:30
  • Like the OP said, depends on whether you value time or money more. There is no 'net compensation' in terms of vacation days converted to money
    – Layman
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:27

Although I can't give you the actual exact percentage being taxed, it is indeed close to half the total amount you would be getting.

Whether this makes the time off more worth it or not is a personal decision you need to make.

Be aware though that this additional time off is not part of your regular holidays and may or may not expire or be transferable to the next year should you be unable to take them.


If you're just looking for a monetary value comparison, that is easy, they are exactly worth the same! You are either getting your job's pay rate for the days* or you get not to work for the equivalent time. Your work force on these days is worth your current contract's hourly rate which is what you should get when you ask for monetary compensation. Thus, either you don't work and can do something else during that time frame or you work and get compensated. It's totally equivalent.

That's why all answers here directly go one step further and address which of the two forms of payment maybe more beneficial for you personally as converting one into the other is not straight forward once you have them in one form.

*There is one little calculation option in this: In some countries weekend work has to be paid at a higher rate than a typical work day. If that's the case, then one can argue that you either need to get extra hours off during the week - or the extra pay is worth more as you could not make the same during the week in the same time-frame. So for some magic reason, your work time is more worth when applied at the weekend and if this is not reflected in the time based payment for it, then the monetary payment is "worth more".


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