Working in the Netherlands

Working in the Netherlands

Getting to know the new Dutch Work and Security act: Labour Law for managers

The new Dutch Work and Security act makes it essential that all Dutch managers must realign their management practices to ensure that they are prepared to handle employee misconduct and poor performance.  Prevention is better than cure!

Dirkzwager advocates produced an informative video as an introduction to the new Work and Security act. Below the video you will find a discussion of a few aspects mentioned in the video that are important for Dutch managers.

  • The Dutch Work and Security act was promulgated to make Dutch Labour law more flexible and simple. The new Dutch Labour Law dispensation puts a lot more responsibility on the shoulders of managers. Labour Law issues must be handled in the workplace and only serious issues must follow the legal (courts) or official (UWV) route. As discussed in earlier posts, managers were spoiled with the previous system where labour issues was quickly revered to a third party. Managers and HR departments must ensure that their knowledge and skills must be updated to be equipped to handle this new challenges.
  • In a way Dutch HR managers have failed their companies as managers are not prepared for the new Dutch Labour Law. The Volkskrant reported on 26 January 2016, that Dutch employers are “afraid” and nervous about the new Dutch Labour Law amendments.
    • Click here to read more about the question if the trepidation of employers about the new Dutch dismissal law is an indication of ill-equipped  HR managers.
  • There are limited valid reasons that an employee can be summery be dismissed for. The response of Dutch labour lawyers and even human resource experts is a source of concern. One and all advise that employers must focus on casefile building and they even present courses on how to build a casefile to ensure that a dismissal will be confirmed in a court. It is not surprising that Dutch employers are terrified by possible court proceedings if the building of a casefile is their main response to misconduct and poor performance. Case building is reactive, it must be a consequence of performance management not a goal in itself.
  • A transition allowance must be paid when an employee is dismissed irrespective if they were permanent or temporary employed. The allowance is only applicable for employees with more than 2 years of service. The allowance is calculated from the monthly salary and years of service.
    • Further can a judge in a case where the Employer acted unlawfully or wrongfully award additional compensation even if an employee is not two years in service,
    • This emphasizes that all Dutch employers must have fair and pro-active labour practices in place because courts apply a strict approach when determining if an employer acted fairly.
    • The Grolsch case is an excellent example of the consequences if employee conduct is not managed.
    • The Collective Labour Agreement can also contain prescriptions for a transition allowance.
  • The new chain determination for temporary employment prescribes that from 1 July 2015 a temporary employee become automatically permanent after working two years temporary at the employer. All the periods between the contracts shorter than 6 months can be counted together to form a chain of two years.  The temporary contract becomes also permanent after three (3) continuous contracts.
  • Restrained of trade provision is only valid if the employer can provide reasons in writing why the service or operating interest of the employer would seriously be jeopardized if the restrain of trade is not enforced.
    • Click here for a current Dutch Labour Law case about a pizza chef that were employed temporary with a restraint of trade clause in his contract.


Dutch Labour Law for managers

Contact me! Andre Beukes LLM, Dutch Labour Law for managers


Andre Beukes LLM

Andre Beukes LLM

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.”

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