Dutch employment law changes 2022

The laws and regulations in the Netherlands are constantly changing. This summer, too. On June 21, 2022, the Senate approved the bill implementing the European Union’s Directive on Transparent and Predictable Terms of Employment into Dutch law.

It involves several rules that affect both the employee and the employer. This bill will enter into force on August 1, 2022. But what exactly are these rules and what is important for you to know? This blog will take a closer look at this question and discuss the most important changes.

1. The study cost clause

First, there are some changes with respect to trainings. Sometimes an employer is obliged to offer training to the employee. Think of training that prevents the employee from malfunctioning or training that enables him to go along with the innovation of the company. The change in the law means that the employer must fully reimburse the costs of this training. This can no longer be recovered from the employee.

If the employee follows such a course, the employer is also obliged to schedule it as much as possible within the working hours. The time needed to follow the training course falls under working hours. As a result, the employee retains the right to salary even while following training.

2. The sideline work clause

If the employee has some time left over in addition to his job and wants to perform other paid work, the employee previously always had to check his employment contract carefully to see whether this was permitted. The employer could easily include a prohibition on secondary employment which prohibited the employee from working elsewhere during the employment contract. The change in the law means that this is not allowed just like that. This is only possible if there is an ‘objective justification’. The employer does not have to include exactly what such a prohibition can justify in the employment contract. Only when the employer invokes this will he have to justify the necessity.

Some examples that may justify a ban on ancillary work are:

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Protection of company information
  • Avoidance of conflicts of interest

3. Request for predictable employment relationship

Currently, as an employee, you have the right to submit a request to the employer for the adjustment of working conditions. This could include a request to work more or fewer hours, to fix the times or place. Something extra is added to this article by the amendment of the law. Now the request for a ‘predictable employment relationship’ has also become a right.

But what exactly does this right entail? From now on it is possible to make a written request for more certainty about the work. One can think of a request to propose a contract with a fixed scope of hours or for an indefinite period of time instead of variable hours or a fixed term contract. A condition for this, however, is that the employee has been employed for at least 26 weeks prior to the desired effective date of the change.

If the employee has submitted this request, it is important for the employer to respond quickly. If the employer has fewer than ten employees, it must provide a reasoned response within three months. If the employer has more employees, then the reasoned response must be given within one month. If there is no response on time/written/reasoned, the employee’s request will be granted automatically.

4. Protections for workers with unpredictable work patterns

If the employee works on the basis of a zero-hours contract or another on-call contract, or if the employee has agreed fixed working hours and salary but the employer determines when he works, the working hours can vary a lot. As a result, the employee is not always sure when he will be called to work. The change in the law gives the employee more protection in this respect.

For employees with an on-call contract, the employer is required from 1 August 2022 to include reference days in the employment contract. Only on these specific days and times is it possible for the employer to oblige the employee to come to work. Outside of these specified days and times, the employee cannot be required to come to work.

Even if the employee does not have an on-call contract, but the working hours are not fixed (unpredictable work pattern), the employee is given additional protection by the change in the law. In case of an unpredictable work pattern the employer is also obliged to include reference days.

In addition, as an employee you are no longer obliged to respond to a call to come to work if this call takes place within four days before the start of the work. If the employee is scheduled to work and the call is withdrawn within four days before the start of the work, the employee is still entitled to the salary he loses as a result. The aforementioned rules already applied to on-call contracts, but now also to contracts with an unpredictable work pattern.

5. Extension of information obligation of employer

Finally, it expands the employer’s obligation to provide certain information to you. For example, the employer is already obliged to name the place(s) where the work will be performed and the position you will hold. Below is a brief overview of the most important additions:

  • If you have no fixed place of work, it must be stated that you perform the work at different places or may make this choice yourself;
  • If you are entitled to paid leave, this must be stated. If this is not fixed, the calculation of this leave must be stated;
  • Not only the salary you receive from the starting date must be stated, but also the separate components thereof and the method and date of payment;
    The duration of the normal daily working time, or in case of an unpredictable work pattern: the reference days mentioned above

Need employment law advice?

In short, quite a few rules have been added. Nevertheless, it can happen that an employer, perhaps by accident, does not comply with these rules. In such a situation it is wise to seek legal advice. Send your question to Arbeidsjurist Eindhoven for a free check. If we can be of added value, we will be happy to go to work for you and show you how we can make a difference. Please contact us.

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