Swapping Good Friday for Eid al-Fitr Feast or Keti Koti? That’s possible now

Celebration of Keti Koti in Amsterdam

Swapping Good Friday for Eid al-Fitr Feast or Keti Koti? That’s possible now

UM comes up with ‘flexible holiday policy’

28-02-2024 · News

MAASTRICHT. Good Friday is traditionally a holiday at UM. But what if this day means nothing to you, but you would instead like to celebrate the Chinese New Year or the Fest of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha)? As of this year, it will be possible for UM employees to ‘swap’ the Christian holiday for another feast or anniversary day.

With this new regulation, UM wants to give employees the opportunity to experience their “personal identity, philosophy of life or religion in an appropriate manner,” the university writes at the employee intranet. It specifically concerns the swapping of a day; it will not be possible to be reimbursed for having worked on Good Friday.

People who are interested have to undertake action, because “the principle remains that everyone is free on Good Friday”. A request to swap will have to be approved by the supervisor. The UM states that requests will be dealt with generously: it is not just religious and national days of celebration that will be considered, but also regional or local celebrations. This means that the options are not just Keti Koti, Eid al-Fitr or Thanksgiving Day, but also the Bronk (the annual procession) if you are from Eijsden.

Various conditions apply though: an exchange can only occur if Friday is a regular day of work and if it does not go against “serious business interests”. The latter can also concern the closing of a building. Does this mean that the regulation only applies to employees who (can) work from home on Good Friday? After all, on this day only the libraries in the city centre and Randwyck, the B section of Tapijn and the building on the Bouillonstraat are open. “Working from home is indeed the principle,” the UM spokesperson stated, “unless employees work in one of the buildings that are open or if they can access them on that day.”

For the time being, the regulation only applies to Good Friday. Can we also expect this for other ‘regular’ holidays in the future? “We don’t know yet. We are bound to the framework of our collective bargaining agreement. For the first time, this now offers the possibility to exchange a fixed holiday, in this case Good Friday. We will register the number of exchanges and so monitor how great the need is for a flexible holiday policy. Should the need be great, that will be a subject for the collective bargaining agreement negotiation table.”

Employees who want to make use of the option need to hurry up: submitting a request can only be done up to four weeks prior to Good Friday (which is on 29 March this year). This means that it should at the latest be done coming Friday.

Photo: Pixabay

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: holiday,good friday,swap,policy,employees

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