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Employment Law Overview Netherlands

Employment Law Overview Netherlands
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Employment Law Overview Netherlands


Dutch employment law is elaborate and relatively complex. It is divided into individual and collective law and is closely related to social security law. The following text will report the latest developments in Dutch employment law.

Key Points

  • Employment law is not consolidated into a single code.
  • Employees have a strong legal position.
  • Preventive dismissal assessment.
  • Relatively lengthy period of salary payment during illness.
  • New Dutch employment law as from 1 January 2020: the Balanced Labour Market Act.

Dutch employment law is not consolidated into a single code. The employment relationship under Dutch law is governed by the compulsory statutory regulations laid down in (for example) the Dutch Civil Code. The relationship can furthermore be governed by (among other things) the conditions laid down in a Collective Labour Agreement (if applicable), internal regulations (if applicable) and the individual employment contract. Judicial precedent is an important part of the legal framework because many employment matters are influenced by case law.

New Developments

On March 24, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled in the Deliveroo case that Deliveroo couriers are employees. The Supreme Court established additional criteria to determine whether an agreement is an employment contract. The most important aspect is that the Supreme Court places more emphasis on whether the worker behaves as an entrepreneur, for example by having the freedom to commit to multiple (possibly competing) clients. How parties work in practice also weighs more heavily. In 2020, the Supreme Court already ruled in the x/Municipality of Amsterdam judgment that the intention of the parties is (much) less relevant. It can now be added that little value seems to be attached to contractual provisions whose sole purpose is to exclude an employment contract.

As of 1 August 2022, employees are able to request a change of working hours and length of the workweek. The employer is obligated to grant such a request, unless substantial business interests or service interests outweigh the interest of the employee. Employees are also able to request a change in workplace, but the employer only has to consider this request and can easily deny it. A legislative proposal will change this in the near future so the employer cannot deny the request that easily anymore, but the exact date is unsure.

As of 1 January 2022, the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act (in Dutch: Wet arbeid vreemdelingen), the employer is obligated to pay the salary monthly per transfer. This is to ensure the freedom of the foreigner to make us of his salary and to effectively monitor if the right salary is being paid. The second change is that when an employer does not have economic activity (anymore), a work permit or residence permit will be denied preventing the foreigner from coming to the Netherlands when the employer is not able to pay him.

Another development is that the state pension age will be increased. As of 1 January 2023, the state pension entitlement age has been increased to 66 years and ten months. The state pension age will be 67 years in 2024.

As of January 2024, employers with 100 employees or more are obligated to register the Co2 emissions of their employees. Employers must submit data concerning commute traffic and business trips.

The Future Pensions act came into force on 1 July 2023. The basis as stated under XII.4. of this document remains the same. The new pension system ensures that it is clear how much pension accrual an employee has. From now on, an employee’s pension will contain all the contributions made on his or her behalf, plus the profits earned on those contributions.

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