Annual leave, daily and weekly rest periods

Annual leave, daily and weekly rest periods

Every worker is entitled to at least four weeks of paid leave per year.

This legal minimum can be increased by agreement between workers and employers, either via a collective agreement or an employment contract.

Employers must enable every worker to use their paid annual leave. Workers cannot waive their right to annual leave even if they want to.

Statements waiving the right to annual leave have no legal value.

It is not permitted to exchange unused days of annual leave for money, except when workers’ employment contracts end and they have been unable to use all their annual leave.

Annual leave is determined over a calendar year.

If the employment relationship began or was terminated during the year, the number of leave days to which workers are entitled is proportional to the number of months those workers worked in that year.

The schedule of annual leave is determined by employers. Such a schedule must be drawn up no later than 30 June and workers must be informed of the duration and the period in which their leave may be used at least 15 days before it begins.

Workers’ rights to participate in drawing up the annual leave schedule can be set out in a collective agreement.

Workers employed in an employer for the first time can exercise their right to annual leave only after six months of continuous work. In that case, workers still have the right to annual leave for those first six months but cannot use it before the expiry of that period unless the employer decides otherwise.

Days of annual leave not used before the end of the year can be carried forward to the following calendar year but must be used before 30 June of that year.

Every worker working at least six hours a day is entitled to a 30-minute break during the working day. This break is called daily rest and is part of working hours.

Workers have the right to a daily rest period of at least 12 uninterrupted hours.

In the case of seasonal work organised in split shifts, the daily rest period can last only eight hours but the employer must then enable the worker to use the remaining portion later.

Working hours can be spread over five or six days a week, but not all seven. Workers cannot work every day and they have the right to a weekly rest period of at least 24 hours.


Only when organised in a union can workers collectively bargain with the employer about their wages and working conditions and organise strike action if they cannot agree with the employer on these issues.

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