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    Liberated from work on Liberation Day?

    It is very likely that agreements will be included in all collective labor agreements to make May 5 – Liberation Day in the Netherlands – a paid day off work for employees. Last month, outgoing prime minister Rutte stated that ‘we are very close to having May 5 an annual paid holiday’. The Dutch authority for war monuments and memorials, called ‘Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei’ (National Committee for May 4 and 5), has repeatedly made an appeal for this – and with success, so it seems.

    Objections

    Outgoing prime minister Rutte did mention that the government is not in charge of establishing which days are paid days off work for employees. Instead, this is decided upon by collective bargaining and by individual organizations in their conditions of employment. The larger employers’ associations, which are in charge of collective bargaining, have stated that they are considering to make May 5 a paid day off work by revoking Whit Monday (the day after Pentecost, called ‘tweede pinksterdag’ in Dutch) as a paid day off. It must then be decided per industry how the wishes for paid time off work are to be included in the respective collective labor agreements. Still, there are a few objections on the part of the employers’ associations. One of these is the fact that employees already have quite a number of paid days off work in the period around May 5. This would mean that making Liberation Day an annual paid holiday could potentially disrupt the progress in organization.

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