Working in the Netherlands

EU Labour Law

European labour law regulates basic transnational standards of employment and partnership at work in the European Union and countries adhering to the European Convention on Human Rights. In virtually all cases, the EU follows the principle that member states can always create rights more beneficial to workers.

EU Labour Law covers 2 main areas:

  • working conditions – working hours, part-time & fixed-term work, posting of workers,
  • informing & consulting workers about collective redundancies, transfers of companies, etc.

EU policies in recent decades have sought to:

  • achieve high employment & strong social protection,
  • improve living & working conditions,
  • protect social cohesion.

The EU aims to promote social progress and improve the living and working conditions of the peoples of Europe – see the preamble of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

As regards labour law, the EU complements policy initiatives taken by individual EU countries by setting minimum standards.

In accordance with the Treaty – particularly Article 153 – it adopts laws (directives) that set minimum requirements for

  • working & employment conditions,
  • informing & consulting workers.