skip to Main Content
+31 (0) 546 660 000
How To Manage Employee Holidays In Europe

How to Manage Employee Holidays in Europe

  • HRO

It’s summer time in Europe… Every year, we look forward to spending some quality time with family and friends. Time filled with fun stuff, discovering new places, tasting new food or simply doing nothing. Does sound familiar, doesn’t it? Well, the big difference between the US and Europe is that European employees are entitled to more vacation days than what you are probably used to.

The number of vacation days is regulated by local law and, therefore, the mandatory minimum days off differs per country. The table below shows the minimum entitlement per country based on a 5 days’ workweek:

Germany 20
The Netherlands 20
Belgium 20
Denmark 25
Norway 25
Sweden 25
Finland 25
Poland 20
Czech Republic 20
Austria 25
Switzerland 20
Italy 25
France 25
Spain 30
Portugal 22
United Kingdom 28 days incl. bank holidays
Ireland 20


Some European countries offer employees extra days when they have been working for more than 10 years (e.g. Poland). These extra days are not specified in the table above. On top off this, European employees get time off on bank holidays and maybe even regional public holidays (e.g. Italy and Spain). In some European countries, employees need to be paid on such days, in others not (e.g. UK).

Employees must make sure to take their vacation days during the “holiday year”. This can be a full calendar year, but can also be a longer period.

Even though the mandatory minimum provides you with some guidelines on what to expect, European employees might expect something different when you offer them an Employment contract. Our HR Experts will support you in the process of creating a competitive offer.

Are you interested to learn more, please contact Edward Nijland.


Back To Top