In the first seven months of 2022, employees in Belgium again took more holidays than in the past two Covid-19 years, figures from HR service provider Acerta showed on Thursday.
While employees were hesitant to take holidays the last two years due to the Covid restrictions in force, vacation days seem to be normalising again halfway through 2022: 5% of the workable hours for the January-July period this year are registered as holidays.
"July is the most popular holiday month, so the figures at the end of that month already give us a good idea of how employees are dealing with their vacation days this year," said Marijke Beelen, holiday expert at Acerta in a press release.
Nearly back to pre-pandemic levels
This trend shows that employees are again taking more holidays in the January-July period than was the case in previous Covid years, but still a little bit less than in the last pre-pandemic year (5.2%).
"The following month, August, will also be a month with a lot of holidays. After that, the number of holiday hours will decrease, before peaking again in December," she added.
Like every year, all statutory holidays of 2022 will have to be taken by 31 December, which is why Acerta advises employers and employees to plan the balance of holidays in good time – "especially for the popular period of Christmas, but also autumn holidays."
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Figures from previous years show that the group of youngest employees is usually the most frugal with holidays, and this will not be different this year, said Acerta.
"But in the group between 25 and 35 years of age, we see noticeably more enthusiasm for not postponing holidays this year: compared to last year, the number of holiday hours of the 25 to 29 year-olds is remarkably higher (+10.3%)," said Beelen.
Except for the category of 60-64 year-olds, all employees continue to use their holidays more sparingly than before the pandemic.