The Netherlands: Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions Act enters into force on 1 August 2022
Author: Lydia Milders
The Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions Act will take effect on 1 August 2022. Here are briefly the main changes that will take place:
- Employees with an unpredictable work pattern can from now on request work with more predictable and certain times from the employer. Think for example of employees with a 0-hours contract (on-call contract). Note: the employer is required to respond to this request in writing and with reasons within one month, otherwise the employee’s request is regarded as having been accepted by the employer.
- As of 1 August 2022, there must be an objective justification for maintaining the ancillary activities clause. The objective reasons do not have to be included in the clause but can also be given afterwards. Think, for example, of exceeding the Working Hours Act or possible competitive activities. An employer can therefore no longer ‘just’ restrict an employee from working for another employer outside his or her work schedule.
- An employer can no longer recover the cost of mandatory courses from the employee through a study costs clause. Moreover, the employer must enable the employee to follow the course during work hours. The possibility to agree a study costs clause for non-compulsory courses remains. Parliamentary documents show that it is unclear what exactly is meant by non-compulsory courses. The ‘circumstances of the case’ will determine whether or not this is the case. In any case, the Memorandum of Reply shows that compulsory courses are interpreted very broadly. Examples of mandatory courses include taking a course to be able to work with a new computer system introduced by the employer, but also taking an English course if the employer thinks this is necessary in the scope of the employee’s employability. Thus, there is room for discussion as to what should be understood as non-compulsory courses.
- From now on, a short reference to dismissal law must be included in the employment contract of employees. A reference to the rules included in Title 7.10 of the Dutch Civil Code is sufficient. If the employer omits to do so, the employee can claim compensation that she suffers as a result of this omission. There is no example of this given in the explanatory memorandum to the law. It is difficult for us to imagine such a claim for damages and in our opinion, this will not be the case very quickly.