Dutch Managers must decide if they are going to follow the easy or the difficult route with the management of the Work and Security act. The easy route may seem difficult and expensive in the beginning, but the benefits that it will yield in terms of personnel engagement and labour relations can not be overestimated.
Insure that sound Human Resource practices are in place. If the company does’t have the expertise, involve somebody that have the knowledge. Identify poor performance, poor conduct and disputes as early as possible and handle it before it became critical. See your personnel as human capital, provide them with quality skills and invest in quality career opportunities in the company. Personnel with quality skills have a better chance to receive permanent employment.
Ignore personnel problems and mainly focus on the performance of the company. Have the management style of: either an employee fits in or he’s out. Then transfer the problem to a labour lawyer, the UWV or a judge. As indicated at the hearing in the Second Chamber, the external procedure is expensive and complicated.
Dutch employers were spoiled in the previous Labour Law dispensation where courts and other third parties solved their personnel problems.
Evert Verhulp, professor in Labour Law at the Universty of Amsterdam hit the nail on the head that the new Dutch Labour Law dispensation relating dismissal is an improvement because it forces employers to handle personnel issues with care. He believes that the stricter approach used by UWV and courts in the evaluation of the employment record of the employee and steps taken by the employer is logical because employers must have effective personnel policies in place.
I agree with prof. Verhulp that although there is teething problems with the Dutch Work and Security act it will lead to improved labour relations.
André Beukes is an EU Management Consultant to international companies doing business in Europe. He provides clients with practical business support that makes a real difference doing business in the EU. “Put simply, I am here to help you meet your challenges. I believe in the importance of doing things correctly, meaning risks are reduced and problems are avoided.”