University Council plea: unused holidays should not be lost

University Council plea: unused holidays should not be lost

"If the gratitude is that they will now lose those hours, it will be very demotivating"

16-11-2021 · News

MAASTRICHT. People who do not use their holidays on time, lose them. And during this busy COVID-19 time, that is extraordinarily unjust, University Council member Mark Govers argued last week during the operational management committee meeting. The Executive Board promised to take a serious look. 

A list of the rules: those who work full-time are entitled to 152 hours off work (the so-called statutory holiday hours). These expire on 1 July of the following calendar year. On top of that, people receive another 80 extra hours (the so-called extra-statutory holiday hours, determined in the collective bargaining agreement). These remain valid for a longer period – a maximum of five years – if the employees have agreed with their boss before 1 July of the next calendar year when they will use them up.

Not all employees – and this has been the case for years – use up all of their holidays. In the UM’s annual account for 2020, the holiday debt (the unused days) amounted to 20 million euro on 31 December. This year, the amount will most likely increase by 2 to 3 million euro, said Ruud Bollen, director of Finance.

The fact that employees will also lose their unused hours during the COVID-19 period, Govers feels is very painful. “I lost eighty hours last summer, because I was too busy teaching and doing research. In December, I risk losing out again and I am probably not the only one. Members of staff have had to give their all these past eighteen months just to keep education going. There was no time to use those days off. They are still under a lot of pressure. If the gratitude is that they will now lose those hours, it will be very demotivating. Let us not stick to these silly rules. Is there no other way to sort this out? Exceptional times require exceptional measures.”

The Executive Board showed understanding for the situation, vice president Nick Bos stated. “What would you like to see changed?” he asked Govers. “Create a transition period or compensate staff,” was his suggestion. Bos: “I do hear your plea; it is not falling on deaf ears.” In short: the Executive Board is going to take a serious look at the issue.

Author: Riki Janssen

Photo: Shutterstock

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: holiday,workpressure,covid

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