Den Haag

New Dutch employment law to repair the flaws of the Work and Security Act

By Paulien van der Grinten, TeekensKarstens

In 2015, the Work and Security Act entered into effect, drastically changing Dutch employment law. These changes, however, were criticized for – in short – being too complex. Recently, a legislative proposal (the proposal) has been published which should make employment law more unambiguous, simpler and cheaper for employers.

The adjustments will most likely take effect from January 2020. The most interesting changes are discussed below.

Successive employment

When the proposal takes effect, the successive contracts rule will state that an employer can provide employees with three fixed-term employment contracts within three years (currently two years), before being obliged to provide a permanent employment contract. When an employer wants to avoid a permanent contract, he has to interrupt the employment for a period of six months.


Currently, Dutch dismissal law contains eight ‘reasonable grounds’ for dismissal. An employer needs to completely meet the requirements of one of those grounds before he is allowed to dismiss an employee. The proposal introduces a ninth cumulation ground, allowing an employer to mix several grounds to dismiss an employee.

Transition payment

Dutch employees are, in most cases, entitled to a ‘transition payment’ (which amounts to 1/3 month’s salary per year of service) paid by the employer if they are dismissed and they have worked for an employer for two years or more. This proposal states that employees will be entitled to the transition payment from day one of their employment.

In addition to the abovementioned, this proposal contains changes to payrolling, on-call contracts, a longer probationary period in a permanent contract and non-compete clauses. The expectation is that all these changes combined will repair the flaws of the Work and Security Act.


Paulien van der Grinten

Paulien van der Grinten

TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen, Leiden, The Netherlands
T: +31 71 535 80 00
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Paulien van der Grinten, attorney at law at TK and part of the international team Corporate Employment Law.

TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen (TK) is a full service Dutch law firm with extensive experience in the field of international law. TK established specific international teams to provide international clients tailor-made services and information.

Published: September 2018 l Photo: ©Photocreo Bednarek -

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