Netherlands: A “Right to Work from Home” in the Near Future
The Senate debated Tuesday, 12 September, an initiative bill from the House of Representatives—the so-called Work Where You Want Act—that would regulate whether an employee’s request to work from home or at the office should be treated the same as requests about working hours.
Work Where You Want Act
Under the current Flexible Workplace Act, the employer can reject a request to adjust the workplace after consultation with the employee. Under the proposed Work Where You Want Act, such a request can only be rejected in the case of important business or service interests. This means that a request to work from home may no longer be simply refused but, in principle, will have to be accepted.
Debate in the Senate
The majority of the senate members find the proposal sympathetic, but some senators question its usefulness and necessity. Others question whether the bill would place too much regulatory burden on employers. There are also concerns about workers in border regions for whom arrangements made during COVID times no longer apply. During the debate, a motion was introduced on the tax issue for cross-border hybrid workers.
Voting on 26 September
The Senate will vote on the bill and motion on 26 September. If the bill is adopted, there will be a right to work from home in the near future.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
- Monitor whether the bill passes (if it does, we will also include it in the next tracker).
- If the bill passes, there will be a right to work from home.
- On 12 September 2023, a debate took place in the Senate on the Bill on Working Where You Want.
- During the debate, a motion has been submitted on the tax issue for hybrid working cross-border workers.
- On 26 September 2023, the Senate will vote on the bill and the motion. The presumption is that it will be adopted.
- The entry date is not yet known. We will keep you informed.