Topic: The Netherlands

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The Right To Disconnect

News about young Wall Street analysts asking for an 80-hour working week and employees working from home for a year now due to the Covid pandemic gives rise to the question of whether employees have the right to disconnect. In this blog we will discuss recent legislative developments in the EU as well as the status of the right in the Netherlands.

European legislative initiative

On 21 January 2021 the European Parliament passed a legislative initiative on the right to disconnect. The initiative recommends implementing an EU directive that allows those who work digitally to disconnect outside their working hours … Continue Reading

The COVID-19 vaccine @ work: a Dutch employment law perspective

At a time when the world is suffering from the COVID pandemic, hope rests in the advent of Covid-19 vaccines. In addition, employers are trying to anticipate the ever-changing situation in the workplace. In doing so, they must adhere to existing laws and regulations, which were not written with a situation like this in mind. The vaccination program is slowly but surely getting underway in the Netherlands. The question becomes: as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to everyone in the near future, is it possible to require employees to get the vaccine before returning to the workplace?

Can employers require Continue Reading

Increased partner leave in the Netherlands from 1 July 2020

If the partner of an employee gives birth, the employee is entitled to one week’s partner leave following the birth. This paid leave can be taken at any time in the first four weeks after the birth of the child. During this period of leave the employer must continue to pay 100% of the employee’s salary.

From 1 July 2020, partners can take up to five weeks’ additional leave (i.e. five times the number of working hours per week). During the additional leave the partner is not entitled to salary. Instead, the partner receives payment from the UWV. These payments … Continue Reading

Collective dismissal in the Netherlands

The Dutch government recently introduced the ’Employment Emergency fund ’ (Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid; NOW) and other measures to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. Pursuant to NOW, employers can submit an application for a substantial contribution towards labour costs. More information on NOW can be found [here]. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 outbreak may require employers to contemplate more radical measures over the coming months. This blog provides a summary overview of the process of collective dismissals in the Netherlands.

If an employer intends to dismiss 20 or more employees within a period of three months, the … Continue Reading

Economic measures taken by the Dutch government in light of the COVID-19 outbreak – UPDATE

On March 31, 2020, the Dutch government published the Emergency Fund for Employment and Businesses. The measures are taken with the aim to protect jobs and incomes and to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on self-employed professionals, SME-entrepreneurs and large companies. The measures aim to ensure that companies can continue to pay their staff, bridge the gap for self-employed workers and assist companies in maintaining their cash position as much as possible through specific tax schemes, compensation and extra finance and credit proposals. We will focus on the employment measures.

Employment Emergency Fund (NOW)

The government introduced the … Continue Reading

Dutch emergency measures also amend enforcement of higher WW premium

As part of the Covid-19 emergency measures the Dutch government has decided to (i) extend the period for complying with new requirements  for employment contracts for an indefinite period until 1 July 2020, and (ii) make changes to the 30percent working hours rule.

Extension of period for compliance

The Dutch employment act WAB that came into force on 1 January 2020 imposes a higher Unemployment  Act (“WW”) premium on employers for each employee that does not have a written  employment agreement for an indefinite period. The lower WW premium can only be applied when the employer has a signed written … Continue Reading

Compensation transition allowance after two years of illness can be requested as of today

As of 1 April 2020, employers can request compensation for the transition allowance paid to an employee who is dismissed after two years of illness. A request can be submitted to the UWV via the employers’ portal (werkgeversportaal). The requirements for compensation are as follows:

  • the employee was dismissed due to the long-term illness;
  • the two year period ended on or after 1 July 2015;
  • the employee was entitled to a transition allowance; and
  • the employer paid the transition allowance to the employee.

The employer will have to prove that the above conditions are met, for example by … Continue Reading

Economic measures taken by the Dutch government in light of the COVID-19 outbreak

On 17 March 2020 the Dutch government announced exceptional economic measures. The aim is to protect jobs and incomes and to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on self-employed professionals, SME-entrepreneurs and large companies. The measures aim to ensure that companies can continue to pay their staff, bridge the gap for self-employed workers and assist companies in maintaining their cash position as much as possible through specific tax schemes, compensation and extra finance and credit proposals. We will focus on the employment measures.

Emergency Fund Bridging Employment

The government introduced the ‘’Emergency fund bridging employment’’ (Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid). This … Continue Reading

Germany: An Employer’s duties dealing with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Q&A

COVID-19 is spreading across the world and companies everywhere are faced with its challenges. In circumstances where a COVID-19 case impacts your German workplace we recommend close coordination with the public health authority on how to proceed. In doing so – especially against a possible liability for illness or even death – it will show that you, as an employer, have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that you have protected your employees. For further guidance please check our Q&A list:

1. Can employees be forced to take unpaid leave or flexitime or to reduce their working hours?

There is … Continue Reading

New Dutch employment act WAB: are you ready?

New Dutch employment act WAB: are you ready?

On 1 January 2020, the employment act the WAB came into effect. There are certain areas that require action by you as an employer, particularly if you engage flexible workers in your organisation.

We have created a WAB Checklist which includes an overview of the most important changes and actions you should take.

Below is an overview of the highlights of the WAB Checklist. For the full update and more information please click on this link.

Increased social security premiums for fixed-term employment contracts.
From 1 January 2020, employers have to … Continue Reading

The Balanced Labour Market Act (Wet arbeidsmarkt in balans: WAB) – expected to come into force January 1, 2020

Today the Dutch Senate voted in favour of the legislative proposal. The WAB is therefore likely to enter into force on 1 January 2020.

The effect for employers

The proposed changes to the current Dutch Labour and Employment Laws are expected to have an impact on many types of employment contracts. The main principle of the WAB is to make it more attractive for employers to hire employees on a permanent basis by reducing the gap between permanent contracts and flexible employment. The WAB contains a number of important legislative changes in relation to flexible employment, dismissal law, the transition … Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence: The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the need for improved employee representation

Traditional labour law is facing new challenges with the upcoming availability of flexible employment platforms (e.g. Uber/Takeaway/Deliveroo/Helpling). Society demands flexible working hours, flexible contracts and most employees are now – or in the near future – required to constantly review their skills to remain employed.

It follows from research performed by the World Economic Forum that the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics and other digital developments is displacing the primacy of human expertise in the economy.… Continue Reading

Subcontracting of workers under the Terms of Employment Posted Workers in the European Union Act (Wet arbeidsvoorwaarden gedetacheerde werknemers in de Europese Unie)

The Posted Workers Directive (Directive 96/71/EC and Directive 2014/67/EU) (the Posted Workers Directive) applies where a company (the Service Provider) in one EU member state, has a contract to provide services to an undertaking in another member state and pursuant to that contract posts workers (Workers) to that other member state. The Posted Workers Directive is implemented in the Netherlands by the Employment Posted Workers in the European Union Act (Wet arbeidsvoorwaarden gedetacheerde werknemers in de Europese Unie) (WagwEU).

Below we look at the most important aspects of the WagwEU.


There … Continue Reading

Closing down a business in the Netherlands – dealing with sick employees

Many international companies may have a branch or legal entity in the Netherlands. If such a company decides to close down its Dutch business, it needs to take actions regarding its assets, its (contractual) obligations , and its employees. If there is no possibility of finding suitable alternative employment for employees within the group, the employees may be offered a settlement agreement, including a severance package. If any of these employees are absent from work due to sickness, reaching an amicable settlement may prove more difficult.

Settle or obtain a permit?

In most cases, employees with a fixed term contract … Continue Reading

Changes to the Working Conditions Act – expected to come into force 1 July 2017

Proposed changes to the current Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet) (the Act) are expected to have a direct impact on all companies in the Netherlands. The changes will mainly impact on the current relationship with the occupational health & safety service provider (Arbodienstverlener); existing policies in relation to sickness prevention; and conditions that apply to the services of the company doctor. The employer will also have to attribute a clearer role to the prevention officer (preventiemedewerker) and the works council or employee representative body (ERB) (if any) will have a right to … Continue Reading

Intra-Corporate Transfer Directive implemented in the Netherlands

On November 29, 2016 the Dutch Royal Decree (the Decree) which implements the European Intra-Corporate Transfer Directive (2014/66/EU) (the Directive), came into force. The Directive applies to secondments of non-EU citizens satisfying certain conditions whose main place of residence is outside the EU (Expats) to an EU Member State. The Directive simplifies the admission procedure for Expats (and their families), in order to make the EU more attractive to international businesses. To enhance these international secondments to the EU between affiliated entities, a special ‘Intra-Company Transfer’ permit (ICT-permit) has been introduced. The ICT-permit allows … Continue Reading

Judgment on the qualification of a “payroll company” and a “temporary agency contract”

On 4 November 2016, the Supreme Court in the Netherlands issued an important judgment  that will impact on the use of payroll companies. In this judgment, the Supreme Court held that no “allocation function” is needed to qualify as a temporary employment agency contract (uitzendovereenkomst). This e-Alert provides a summary of the judgment and further background on its impact and scope.

Court case C4C vs StiPP

In this case, the main legal issue was the interpretation and scope of a temporary agency contract. StiPP operates an industry wide pension fund that is mandatory for temporary agency workers. StiPP … Continue Reading

Update: Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act (DBA)

Working with independent contractors/freelancers?

In May 2016, we discussed the abolition of the VAR-declaration as a result of the implementation of the Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act (Wet deregulering beoordeling arbeidsrelaties) (the Act) which came into force on 1 May 2016. The first year is intended as a transitional period, during which law enforcement merely serves an informative purpose. At present, there is a great deal of uncertainty among companies and freelancers as their underlying relationship from a legal and tax perspective is often unclear. The Secretary of State for Finance, Mr. Wiebes, has introduced … Continue Reading

The Foreign Nationals Employment Act

Financial risks when using foreign workers in the Netherlands

Hiring contractors or temporary employment agencies that employ foreign workers in the Netherlands, can create financial risks of which you should be aware. If foreign workers carry out activities for the benefit of your business, you should comply with legal obligations under the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen) (the Act). Non-compliance with the Act can result in significant fines.

The European Union has been very active in implementing regulations in order to prevent exploitation of foreign workers. In this regard, amongst others, the Posting of Workers … Continue Reading

New Dutch Legislation | Working after state pension age Act

Do you wish to keep valuable employees who are about to retire, but are you afraid termination will be difficult if they remain employed? As of this year, risks related to hiring employees who have reached the state pension age (an Older Employee) are considerably reduced, e.g. the duration of the prohibition to terminate and the obligation to continue to pay wages during illness is significantly shortened. This is due to the implementation of the Working after state pension age Act (the Act). The most important changes resulting from the Act are discussed below.

Long-term illness

Long-term sick … Continue Reading

VAR-declaration replaced by model agreements as of May 1, 2016

As of May 1, 2016, the VAR-declaration (Verklaring Arbeidsrelatie) will be replaced by model agreements approved by the Dutch Tax Authorities for each sector or professional field. This is due to the implementation of the Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act (Wet deregulering beoordeling arbeidsrelaties) (the Act). As a result, companies run the risk additional tax assessments will be imposed on them by the Dutch Tax Authorities. The new system and the differences with the VAR-declaration are explained below.


As of May 1, any issued VAR-declaration does no longer have effect. A VAR-declaration indemnified … Continue Reading

Dutch senate passes Act House for whistleblowers

On 1 March 2016, the Dutch senate adopted the Act House for whistleblowers (the Act). The Act introduces an independent and impartial governmental institution that investigates wrongdoing and assists employees in disclosure proceedings: the House for Whistleblowers. In addition, the proposal introduces several rules to protect whistleblowers. The Act is expected to come into force on 1 July 2016. Below, the most important topics are discussed.

The House for Whistleblowers

The House’s department of advice will inform, advise and support employees who have a suspicion of wrongdoing. The Act defines wrongdoing as an act or omission that puts public interests … Continue Reading

Dismissal law reforms in the Netherlands

Dutch dismissal law will undergo a dramatic change with effect from 1 July 2015. If you are considering individual dismissals or a reorganisation with lay-offs, the legal changes will not only have a financial impact, but are also expected to complicate effecting dismissals. If your proposals do not comply with the new law any dismissals are likely to be ineffective. Taking legal advice at the very start of the matter becomes ever more crucial. The main elements of the new dismissal law are included below. All changes will come into force on 1 July 2015.

  1. Introduction of a statutory severance
Continue Reading

Flexible Working Act: Stronger position for employees who want to work from home

On 14 April 2015, the Dutch Senate has accepted the Flexible Working Act, allowing employees of companies in the Netherlands more flexibility in respect of working hours and working from home. With effect from 1 January 2016, employees will be able to ask not only for changes to the number of hours they work, but also changes to the times they are required to work and their place of work.

An employer has to agree with a request to change the number of working hours, unless there are substantial business reasons for not doing so. Case law shows that business … Continue Reading