Working in the Netherlands

Critical HR and labour law terms

Critical English HR and Labour Law terms for managers in the Netherlands

Bridge WW / Asscher bridge

  • The Employment bridge is named after the Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Asscher that agreed to this concession with the acceptance of the new Dutch Labour Relations legislation.
  • This procedure will assist the unemployed to be employed a sector where there is a labour shortage even if the unemployed does not have the requires skills,
  • With the procedure, the unemployed can receive retraining without losing their unemployment benefits,
  • This procedure will also be applicable for retrenched workers,
  • When an unemployed person is employed at a new employer where the person must receive retraining, he/she will receive unemployment benefits for the time that they receive training. The employer will only remunerate the employee for hours worked. This will motivate employers to employ workers that must receive retraining.

Confirm (aanzeggen) end of employment

  • Confirm (aanzeggen) that the contact of employment will end on a certain date.

Hoge Raad der Nederlanden: 

  • The Supreme Court of the Netherlands (Hoge Raad der Nederlanden) is one of the highest courts of the Netherlands. The Court was established on 1 October 1838 and sits in The Hague, Netherlands.

Onrechtmatige daad – unlawful action

  • Unlawful action in Dutch Labour Law refers to the question if the action of the employee (or inaction) constitutes an infringement of a right that is contrary to a legal obligation, common law or is incompatible with a social norm. Section 6.162 of the Dutch Civil Code.


Until 1 July 2015, the amount of the redundancy package was calculated with the so-called kantonrechtersformula. Transition allowance was introduced for employees who were employed for at least 2 years by the employer for whom the employee was working.


  • In the Netherlands, reintegration is the main objective of the procedure during sickness (if possible). In case of long-term disability, specific rules apply. The sickness should be reported to the company doctor, who will qualify and monitor the incapacity of the employee. The employer should draft an action plan together with the employee on how to proceed, and there should be a periodic meeting with the company doctor to evaluate the status of the employee’s disability to work. In some cases it could be that the employee is fit for work for a certain percentage, this should be coordinated by the company doctor and the employer should do its utmost to provide the employee with suitable work. If no suitable work is available within the company of the employer, it can be expected that the employer funds and seeks for employment elsewhere and provides for outplacement. Source

Transition allowance

Where the employment relationship is ended by the initiative of the employer the employee is entitled to a transition allowance (transitievergoeding).

The transition allowance has two purposes:

  1. To compensate the employee for the termination of the employment.
  2. To assist the employee in finding a new employment opportunity.


The transition allowance is calculated as follows:

  • On the first 10 years of employment, the employee receives 1/6 of the monthly salary per 6 months.
  • With an employment relationship that is longer than 10 years, the employee receives 1/4 of the monthly salary per 6 months.
  • Employees older that are 50 years or older and at least 10 years employed by the company will receive 1/2 of the monthly salary for each period of 6 months after you reached the age of 50. The maximum transition allowance is € 77,000 (figure 2017) or 1 annual salary if that is higher. For the calculation, the employment period is rounded down on 6 months.
  • In the case of very serious culpable act on the part of the employer, the Court can award the employee an additional compensation.

Termination (opzeggen) of employment

  • The employment contract is ended.

What is the “WIA”?

The Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Bill (WIA) is the Dutch disability benefit scheme. The WIA has two aims: to promote reintegration and to protect the incomes of employees who are restricted in the work they can do due to illness or incapacity. The primary aim is to promote “return to work”, i.e. to increase the long-term reintegration of employees with (temporary) health-related work restrictions.