Topic: The Netherlands

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Legislative proposal: Dutch Financial Undertakings (Remuneration Policy) Act

Dutch Financial Undertakings (Remuneration Policy) Act

A bill in respect of remuneration in the Dutch financial sector is currently being debated in the senate: the Dutch Financial Undertakings (Remuneration Policy) Act (Wet beloningsbeleid financiële ondernemingen; the Act).

The proposed rules apply to all financial undertakings that are regulated by the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht) and have their statutory seat in the Netherlands. Such financial undertakings have to ensure that their subsidiaries, in and outside the Netherlands, also comply with the Act. If the financial undertaking is part of a group … Continue Reading

Negotiating a severance payment: a lawyer’s paradise

An employer may be bound to an offer of financial compensation made to an employee in the negotiation of a severance payment, even though no agreement is reached with the employee. That is the outcome of a recent manifestly unreasonable dismissal procedure at the court of appeal in The Hague.

In the underlying case the employer had displayed a willingness to offer financial compensation, by offering a severance payment based on the provisions of a social plan. Three offers were made over a period of seven months. The employee refused each offer. Since no agreement was reached, the employer applied … Continue Reading

Whistleblower protection in the Netherlands: House for Whistleblowers

Introduction

The legislative proposal known as ‘House for Whistleblowers’ is pending in the Netherlands. The proposal 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 situation under current Dutch law and under the House for Whistleblowers Act will be described below.

Current protection under Dutch law

In the Netherlands there is currently no specific legislation on whistleblowing. Protection of employees depends largely on self-regulation. Under the Dutch Corporate Governance Code, companies listed on the stock exchange must have … Continue Reading

Monitoring social media pays off

WhatsApp messages in which an employee expresses his opinion about a superior in an offensive manner can be sufficient reason for the employee’s instant dismissal. For employers, therefore, monitoring social media use by their employees pays off, and the importance of a good social media policy is ever increasing.

In a recent case, a colleague pointed the superior to insulting WhatsApp messages sent by the employee. The employer decided to dismiss the employee instantly.

After his dismissal, the employee had to hand in his company laptop. On inspection, it appeared that the employee also sent some offensive Skype messages in … Continue Reading

Paternity leave for fathers extended

The Dutch government recently decided to extend paternity leave arrangements for fathers. This gives the father the opportunity to spend a full working week with his child, which (according to a study by the OECD) would increase his involvement in the raising and care of the child. It is important for employers to be prepared for an increase in absence due to paternity leave. Most fathers make use of the current two-day period and it is likely that this will be extended to the full five days in most cases. I summarise the most important changes below.

Changes

  • The paternity
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Is final discharge really final?

Introduction

When an employer and an employee come to an agreement regarding the termination of an employment contract, the terms and conditions of such termination will be laid down in a settlement agreement. According to section 7:900 Civil Code, a settlement agreement seeks to conclude or prevent any uncertainty or dispute.

To prevent parties from instituting claims after signing a settlement agreement, a final discharge clause is usually added to the contract, under which the parties are no longer entitled to institute claims or disputes regarding the settled issues after the signing of the settlement agreement. The final discharge clause … Continue Reading

Pension reforms in the Netherlands

If you are an employer currently offering your Dutch employees participation in a pension arrangement, then the below is a “must read”. In the Netherlands a legislative proposal is pending which may have an impact on the pension arrangements within your company.

As of 1 January 2015 the following changes may come into force:

For all employees

  • Yearly accrual percentages are decreased
  • This means that the annual amount which your employees may  save for their old age pensions is reduced
  • Pension premiums will decrease

As premiums are generally paid by both employers and employees, it is up to you as … Continue Reading

Flexible employment reforms in the Netherlands

On Tuesday 18 February 2014, the Dutch Lower House voted in favour of a bill relating to the Work and Security Act. If the Upper House also votes in favour, dismissal procedures and the Unemployment Insurance Act will be reformed. The bill also contains measures to prevent the improper use of flexible employment. The changes applicable to fixed employment are planned to come into force partly per 1 July 2014 and partly per 1 July 2015. It is necessary for employers to anticipate these changes.

Five important changes to be aware of:

  1. Maximum duration: When the aggregate term of consecutive
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Timing is of the essence: revision of the Dutch Merger Code

The Dutch Social and Economic Council (the SER) on 10 February 2014 announced a revision of the Dutch Merger Code (SER Fusiegedragsregels) that is of importance for the timing of trade union involvement in mergers and acquisitions.

The Merger Code (the Code) protects the interests of the employees involved in a merger. The Code has a broad scope as merger is defined as ‘acquiring or transferring control over a company’.

The Code stipulates that the SER and the trade unions need to be informed of any intended merger that involves 50 or more employees in the Netherlands. The … Continue Reading

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