19 June 2024

New rules for calculating holiday pay from 1 January 2024

by Sarah Van den Driessche

In the private sector, an employee accrues their right to vacation during the previous calendar year, which is referred to as the 'holiday credit year'. The number of paid vacation days an employee can take in 2024 therefore depends on the work performed and equivalent inactive days in 2023.

Switching to a new employer

If the employee was employed by another employer (in Belgium) in the previous year, they can carry over their accrued vacation rights. However, a few things need to be arranged for this. The employee who starts working for a new employer must provide their new employer with their vacation certificate(s). This certificate was received by the employee upon leaving their previous employer. The vacation certificate states the number of vacation days to which the employee is (still) entitled based on his performance during the holiday credit year.

When the employee, under the status of white-collar worker with the new employer, takes their statutory vacation days, they will be entitled to single holiday pay (continued payment of their salary during the vacation days) and double holiday pay when taking their main vacation. Since the employee has already received this holiday pay from their former employer in the form of departure holiday pay and no double payment is allowed, the new employer must regularize the holiday pay.

Regulation since January 1, 2024

Since January 1, 2024, the legislation regarding the settlement of single holiday pay has changed. From 2024 onwards, the settlement is done in two steps instead of one. In the first step, 90% of the received salary for the vacation is settled at the time the vacation accrued with a previous employer is taken. In other words, when the white-collar worker takes up this vacation, they will receive 10% of their gross daily wage per vacation day. The second step occurs in December or upon leaving the company. In December (or upon leaving the company), a final calculation is made to determine if the deductions made throughout the year were too much or too little. If the deductions were too little, an additional deduction is made; if they were too much, a refund is issued.

For the settlement of the double departure holiday pay, nothing changes; this settlement is still done in one go in the month in which the double holiday pay is paid out.

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