I have handed in my resignation to a Dutch company which I am currently working for, however, I misunderstood the contractual notice period. In the contract it says I must provide "one calendar month" of notice. I took this to mean that if I hand in my notice on the 20th of April, I would continue to work until the 20th of May. Unfortunately this is incorrect in the Netherlands. What it actually means is that I need to work a full month from start to finish after I give in my notice. Ie I need to work until the 31st of May.

This sort of still works with my next job but just barely. I had hoped to be able to fly back to my home country and spend some time with my family, who I have been separated from during covid, before starting my new job.

I have 15 days of holiday stored up and I want to leverage them to shorten my leaving period. Is the company allowed to deny my use of those holidays during the leaving period?

Typically the company does want to have a lot of notice from it's employees in regards to the use of their holidays in general, but I don't know in what capacity the company is allowed to outright deny holidays on short notice?

As another twist, June 1st will be the anniversary of when I joined the company. In the Netherlands, your accrued legal vacation days will expire 6 months after the last day of the year in which they were accrued. I'm not sure if that changes anything, but if the company didn't allow me to take those holidays, which I am entitled to, I would otherwise lose them.

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    Does this reply to your question? workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/168816/… Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 9:20
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    That is the definition of calendar month anywhere. It makes no difference if you resign prior, your notice period starts on the first.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 9:59
  • I don't think that answers the question as it sounds OP is currently in the Netherlands and works for a Dutch company. The linked question is relating to someone who's company HQ is in a different country.
    – Monstar
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 10:08
  • As Monstar said, I couldn't find any questions relating to Dutch employment regulations unfortunately Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 10:58
  • Isn't the Netherlands Dutch?
    – Kilisi
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 11:09

2 Answers 2


You won't lose your vacation days. You must take your required minimal number of yearly vacation days within 6 months (so, before July 1), which, for a 40 hour/week contract is 20 vacation days. (For vacation days above legal, it depends on the company; for the company I work for, that's 5 years). But that's irrelevant for your case, as you're leaving before that.

You can still take vacation days during your notification period -- in fact, it's extremely common for people to take their left over vacation days at the end of the notification period. You still need to follow the normal procedure at your work to take them. A company cannot deny your taking your vacation days purely because it's your notification period, but it can for the same reasons it can otherwise. If you have vacation days left over at the end of the contract, the normal procedure is that you get paid for them. (So, if you have 5 days of vacation not taken, you'd get paid for another 5 days (just less of a quarter of a monthly salary)).

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    As an addendum, most companies here would much rather people take the holiday over the extra pay, since making people work on their last days isn't very productive.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 11:56

Is the company allowed to deny my use of those holidays during the leaving period?

No. See for example: https://www.legalexpatdesk.nl/holidays/

However that doesn't mean they won't try anyway and the key question for you is "What to do if they deny it ".

  1. Read through your employee handbook and your corporate policies. Make sure you understand all the rules that governs that .
  2. Read up on the legal framework in the Netherlands. Google is your friend. If you are not comfortable doing this, spend some money on an employment lawyer to understand the rules and what your options are.
  3. Then have a "friendly" conversation with the company. State what you want and ask what their specific concerns are. Listen carefully and stay open-minded. Maybe it's something that can easily addressed with a mutual agreeable work around (documentation, shift coverage, project coverage, etc.)
  4. If that doesn't help, you need to get more assertive. If applicable, bring up the corporate policies and state that you really don't want to violate those (which they can't argue with). State that it's very important to you to take this holiday and that a solution needs to be found.
  5. Save the legal aspect as a means of last resort if anything else has failed and there is no way left to find collaborative solution. You can just go and take your vacation but I would put the details (dates and legal justification) into a certified letter and sent it up front to the company so you have your bases covered in case they fight back. A lawyer can help with this as well.

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