Working in the Netherlands

Dutch Labour Law for Managers


André Beukes provides information, advice and explanation of current Dutch Labour Law from a Human Resource perspective to Dutch companies.

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Dutch Labour Law is relatively complex and dynamic. International companies establishing Dutch subsidiaries are bound to Dutch Labour Law (as well as other laws of the Netherlands), which in 2015 has seen a number of important changes in areas such as trial-periods, non-competition clauses and notifications of termination. In order to comply with Dutch Labour Law many companies frequently call upon the expertise of a lawyer specialised in Dutch Labour Law.

Line management’s role has been reorganized in business organizations and they are now increasingly taking up responsibility for core HRM functions of which compliance to Labour Law is one aspect.

It is therefore important that managers must see Labour Law as a tool towards success, and that it is utilized in a fresh and stimulating way geared towards facilitating the manager’s effectiveness and achieving their corporate goals. 

It seems that even Dutch HR Managers see the management of Dutch Labour Law as only the domain of Labour Lawyers. The reality is that specialized lawyers are expensive, act reactively, cannot be reached on short notice and court cases is expensive and time-consuming. An example is the recent Tokheim court case where the employer could have saved a lot of money, time, preserved the image of the company and improved employee relations if the HR manager took Labour Law principles into account.

The ideal is to manage the normal Labour Law issues in-house before it becomes serious and complex.  

Dutch Labour Law for Managers #11

Dutch Labour Law for Managers #10

Dutch labour law for managers #9

An employee was dismissed because he used the company fuel card to put fuel in his wife’s car. The employee (claimant) argued that the summary dismissal was unlawful because a criminal law term (theft) was used as a reason for his dismissal.

Dutch Labour Law for Managers #8

  • It is going to be very difficult to convince a Judge that a case is urgent with only WhatsApp evidence,
  • All official correspondence that is part of the case file must be in writing,
  • The Employer can only terminate an employment contract with the written consent of the employee,
  • The employee can within 14 day’s withdraw the written consent as was mentioned in point 1 in writing without reasons.
  • The party that broke the employee contract prematurely must pay damages to the other party equal to the salary that the employee should have received if the contract was not terminated, normally the damaged may not be less than three months salary,
  • Transition allowance is due to the employee if the employment relation was at least 24 months.

Dutch Labour Law for Managers #7

Reasons why the lost group must be reintegrated in the workforce

  • The welfare cliff. It is very difficult for the long term unemployed practically and emotionally to again join the workforce,
  • Children that grow up in a welfare home may have difficulty  breaking out of the system,
  • The FD commends that receiving long term welfare benefits is not a springboard to employment but a prison of unemployment,
  • People that receive long term welfare benefits have a small world and little hope for the future,
  • The benefits give a false feeling of security, as it is unsure if the Government will in the future be able to maintain the level of spending,
  • Working Helps You Stay Physically and Mentally Healthy
    Not only can working delay the onset of age-related diseases like dementia, but keeping mentally and physically active helps you feel younger longer. Working also keep you socially active and prevents isolation, and can provide a sense of purpose.

Dutch Labour Law for Managers #6

There is a lot to learn from the resent Grolsch case about how judges interpret the amended Dutch Labour law concerning the termination of the employment relationship.

The lesson to learn is that all the right steps of the employer later in the process does not mend faults made earlier. It is also clear that expensive legal action cannot replace correct Human Resource Management actions when an issue originates.

Dutch Labour Law for Managers #5

Is the trepidation of employers about the new Dutch dismissal law an indication of ill-equipped managers?

DUTCH LABOUR LAW FOR MANAGERS #4: Summary dismissal in terms of Dutch Labour Law

  • An employee can in terms of Dutch Labour Law be summarily dismissed in the instance of serious misconduct or incapacity.

DUTCH LABOUR LAW FOR MANAGERS #3 Impact of the proposed amendment of Dutch Labour Law concerning independent contracters

  • Impact of the proposed amendment of Dutch Labour Law: Independent contractors


  • A true independent contractor:
  • will be a registered taxpayer,
  • will work his own hours,
  • runs his own business,
  • will be free to carry out work for more than one employer at the same time,
  • will invoice the employer each month for his/her services and be paid accordingly.

Current Dutch Labour Law for managers #1

  1. The regulations of Dutch Labour Law do not require the employer to provide a written contract of employment,
  2. However, it is good to realise that the absence of a written contract usually is advantageous for the employee e.g. the “all-inclusive overtime” remuneration as discusses in the case,
  3. The contract of employment may be concluded in the Dutch language or another language,
  4. In the case of Multi-National Corporations, it must be ensured that an employment contract is adapted in line with Dutch Labour Law,
  5. According to Dutch law, you should not work more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.



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