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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.
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.
Reasons why the lost group must be reintegrated in the workforce
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.
Is the trepidation of employers about the new Dutch dismissal law an indication of ill-equipped managers?
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