New Directive for Dutch Employment Conditions

21 September 2022 - Since the launch of the European Directive on Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions in 2019, a shift in labour markets has been put in motion with the aim to provide extensive and updated labour rights and protection to workers across the European Union (EU).

Underpinned by the ambition to grant employees with flexibility and clarity in regards to their terms and conditions of employment, the Directive aims to improve the minimum rights to EU-based workers, ensuring predictability and transparency at work (including outlining a minimum standard for paternity, parental and carers’ leave alongside additional rights, such as the one to request flexible working arrangements).

Countries have taken some time to review and adapt – in turn, the beginning of August 2022 was introduced as the deadline for Member States to have the Directive transposed into National Law.

The topic of a healthy work-life balance has become increasingly important for firms and employees alike – and alongside a sharp rise in digitalization across all industries over recent years – has meant that flexible working has become central to the corporate agenda.

In compliance with the EU, the Netherlands has transposed the directive into local law as of August 1, 2022.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR DUTCH EMPLOYERS?

Dutch employers may need to review and amend standard employment contracts and employee manuals together with their Human Resources policies, given that essential aspects of the working relationship will need to be provided from day one. The increased information to the workforce on their basic employment conditions will include:

  • The duration and conditions of the probationary period;
  • The individual components of the salary, such as a bonus;
  • Holiday and leave schemes;
  • The workplace;
  • A possible right to training;
  • Termination of the employment agreements as well as notice periods.

Other important change to consider includes training – employers will no longer be able to recover mandatory training costs, (which should be arranged during working hours if possible), if they are required to offer such by law or by an applicable collective labor agreement. Study-cost clauses under which an employee could become responsible for (re)payment of mandatory training will no longer be valid.

Based on the new regulation, the employer must inform the employee within a timely fashion on their new work pattern to ensure predictability. This change may have a significant impact on certain industries, and the employees will be able to request such a pattern after 26 weeks of the commencement of employment.

While employers are in principle not forced to agree to such requests, they are obliged to respond in writing within one month of receiving such a request (three months if an employer is a small organization, i.e. employs less than 10 employees). A lack of response to these requests within the aforementioned timeframe will automatically trigger them being considered as granted.

Ancillary clauses, such as an employee being prohibited from working for others without permission, may be void unless they can be justified based on an objective ground. Non-exhaustive examples include health and safety, confidentiality and protection of business information, integrity of government services, or avoidance of conflicts of interest to name a few. This may also apply to ancillary work clauses agreed upon prior to August 1, 2022.

Our professional experts within Citco’s Human Capital Teams have the right knowledge to assist clients with a pragmatic approach at implementing the above changes. Get in touch with Mariëlle Limburg via HCS-team@citco.com to learn more about how Citco can support your Human Resource Planning (HRP) needs.

By Mariëlle Limburg, Trust Manager, Citco Nederland B.V.