New Changes Within Dutch Employment Law
By Jeffrey L. R. Kenens, TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen
In 2015, Dutch employment law changed tremendously. Now, the Dutch government has decided to make even more amendments as from 01 January 2020. The main purpose of these new changes in legislation is to persuade employers to offer employees permanent employment contracts.
According to Dutch employment law, the employer can only terminate an employment contract if there are perfect-reasonable grounds to do so. The law contains a limitative list of these reasonable grounds. Sometimes a case does not result in having a perfect-reasonable ground to give notice. Therefore, as from next year, it will be possible for the employer to cumulate several incomplete reasonable grounds. These combined reasonable grounds could lead to a termination of the employment contract. So, in some cases it may be worth waiting until next year before starting legal proceedings for dismissal. If the employment contract is terminated because of combined reasonable grounds, the court can decide that the employer must pay an additional transition compensation.
In 2015, a statutory severance payment was introduced. After termination of an employment contract that has lasted more than two years, the employee will generally receive the statutory severance payment (the socalled “transition compensation”) from the employer. With the amendments at stake, in the case of a termination of the employment contract initiated by the employer, the employee is entitled to that compensation from day one. In this way, the government intends to reduce the inequality between permanent employees and flex workers.
Finally, under current law, if the employer and employee have concluded several temporary employment contracts in a row that have lasted for more than two years in total, the last contract will automatically convert into a permanent employment contract. As a result of the amendments, this period will be extended again to three years, as was the case before 2015. This gives the employer more flexibility in hiring employees.
Jeffrey L. R. KenensGGI member firm
TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen
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TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen (TK) is a top 50 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.
Jeffrey L. R. Kenens is a Partner at TK and part of the international corporate employment law team. He is also Global Chairperson of the GGI Labour Law Practice Group.
Published: Labour Law Newsletter, No. 07, Autumn 2019 l Photo: djama - stock.adobe.com