Just suppose: Tomorrow it will be quieter on the road – except for vacationers – and there will be a lot of empty seats on the rush hour train. Many people have a day off tomorrow, although it is not a public holiday at all. Can your employer force you to take time off?
Employment attorney Martin van Gelderen says there is little misunderstanding about public holidays. People think it’s legal to be free on public holidays, but that’s not the case at all. There is no automatic right to a holiday, even on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Whether you are free depends on the collective labor agreement or the labor contract you signed.”
Friday, which is the day between Ascension and the weekend, is a reason for many people to go on a long weekend and employers a reason to give people a day off or ask their employees to take that day off. “It’s possible,” says van Gelderen. “Provided that it is customary within the company and that it is clearly communicated in advance and that the contract is included that these are mandatory vacation days.”
The parties must agree on a mandatory day off
Suddenly compulsory free?
Did your employer suddenly announce last week that you are obligated to take a day off, because it is a good idea to close the office for one day? This is not the intention. The main rule is that the right to request leave rests with the employee. Does the employer want to get out of this? Then he must record this in writing and the parties must agree.
Read also in Intermediary: “Private leave: When do you get time off?”
Aren’t you in an employment contract or collective labor agreement and you are obligated to take a day off against your will? Then you can raise a case and have a serious conversation with your boss next week. The question is always how much you want to play, says van Gelderen. “Having a discussion with the employer is not good for industrial relations.”
In general, the day off between boarding and the weekend causes few problems, van Gelderen sees. “What I often come across are employers who have already excused people from work in the course of the reorganization. Employees no longer have to come to the office, but the employer assumes vacation days will be taken. This is not allowed and the employee does not have to accept it.”
This article was previously published. The text has been adapted to current events.
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