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Dutch people have no concept of 'sick days' and it is completely blowing everyone's minds

A woman shared the confusion she encountered upon working in the Netherlands as they did not have fixed sick leaves.

Dutch people have no concept of 'sick days' and it is completely blowing everyone's minds
Image Source: Getty Images/courtneyk

The average number of sick days granted in the U.S. is 15 days after 1 year of service, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, even after the idea of taking a leave in the corporate world is looked down upon and stigmatized. This isn't the case in the Netherlands as they don't even have the concept of "sick days" which might sound alarming at first but is actually exciting. 

Shot of a young woman using a headset and laptop in a modern office - stock photo/Getty Images
Shot of a young woman using a headset and laptop in a modern office - stock photo/Getty Images


A Reddit user, BelleAriel, shared a snapshot of a post by a woman named Kimberly A. Knight who suffered a shock when she started working for the Dutch. She writes, "The whole concept of 'sick days' is idolatrous capitalism." She shared that while starting to work in the Netherlands, she asked HR "how many sick days do we get." It seems like a common query that new workers might have but not in this country. The HR gave her a brief confused look and replied, "all of them." Knight explained, "When you are sick, you stay home. When you are well, you work." 

Image Source: Reddit/jaded_dahlia
Image Source: Reddit/jaded_dahlia

This just doesn't stop here as several people living in the Netherlands and other European countries jumped in to reveal how well employees are treated. One person, notyourvader, commented, "There's a lot more to it than that. First year of leave, you get paid a minimum of 70% of your salary, but always at least minimum wage. After that, it's just 70% and if that puts you under minimum, the government pays the difference."

Another person, PanikLIji joked, "What happens if you run out of sick days in the US, do you just go to work and spread your germs all over the salad you're handing your customer?" Another, ARentalsnake, added, "If you're handing things to a customer, you're in food service and probably don't get sick days or PTO. What happens is either you go to work sick, or you don't go in and get shamed for it and not paid." 

Reddit user MrCertainly added, "You will be terminated....lose all income and any insurance you have. If you don't have enough savings to pay bills and cover the now-uninsured treatments, you declare bankruptcy. You'll lose your home, and most possessions, and be destitute. This is the American way. We are driven by fear, as a hungry and scared dog is an obedient dog."



According to the law, if anyone owns a company in the Netherlands, "and one of your employees becomes ill, you are required to pay at least 70% of their last earned wages. You are obliged to do this for a maximum period of two years." Moreover, companies are also required to help their employee transition back into work. However, several Reddit users wanted to highlight that this policy is a result of a long struggle. User Scaniarix noted, "Just remember that this is the result of many strikes and protests over the years. It's not something European companies give employees just because and is continuously something unions have to battle for. Imagine trying to force French rail workers to work without their demands being met." 

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