Dutch holiday allowances spent overwhelmingly on holidays

Press release -

preparation for the holiday

An overwhelming majority of the Dutch population spend some or all of their holiday allowance for 2015 actually on their holidays (85 percent). People earning less than the modal (i.e. most commonly earned) income are more likely to use all the money for other purposes than going on holiday. These are some of the findings from a survey that by ABN AMRO conducted among more than 1200 working people.

A large proportion – 70 percent – of the working population of the Netherlands go on holiday (or are likely to). Slightly fewer than one in five respondents stated that they were not going on holiday this summer, though they might take their holidays at a later point. Europe is the most popular holiday destination: 66 percent plan to stay in Europe, while 17 percent of the working population prefer destinations in the Netherlands. A similar-sized group have plans to travel to another continent.

Holiday allowances not necessary

People also use money from their tax refunds to go on holiday. However, the survey reveals that 40 percent of the working population can holiday even without their holiday allowance and/or tax refund, while for 30 percent the money is actually necessary for them to get away. A minority (16 percent) need their holiday allowance and tax money to get by throughout the year. This group is over-represented among people with a below-modal income.


Following a change introduced on 1 January 2014, the general tax credit is now income-linked. Net holiday allowances might be lower than in previous years, depending on a person’s income and how much tax credit they receive. Most people are largely or entirely unaware of this change: around two fifths of working people know nothing about it. About one in eight people stated that they are fully aware of the changes.

Spread payment of holiday allowance

Employers have the option of spreading out their employees’ holiday allowances over the whole year and adding it to their monthly wages. However, this needs to be formalised in individual contracts or collective employment agreements. The overwhelming majority – around 86 percent – of employees prefer to be paid their holiday allowance as a lump sum once a year.


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