By law, statutory vacation days that an employee has not taken expire 6 months after the calendar year in which they were accrued. This means that statutory vacation days accrued in 2022 will in principle expire on July 1, 2023. It is possible to agree on a longer expiration period. However, the expiration of these statutory vacation days only occurs under the condition that the employer has fulfilled the duty of effort and has informed the employee about the expiration of the vacation days. This blog will discuss the latter.
The CJEU has ruled that the employer bares an aggravated duty of effort. This means that the employer must encourage and enable the employee to take the vacation days. In addition, the employee must be informed that the vacation days will otherwise expire as of July 1. If the employer fails to do so, the vacation days will not expire.
Therefore, now is an appropriate time for employers to fulfill this duty of effort, now that employees still have 3 months to take the vacation days before July 1, 2023. Therefore, alert employees to their outstanding statutory vacation days, that they can still be taken before July 1, 2023, and that the they will expire after that.
Do you have questions about (the expiration of) vacation days? If so, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys.