Amendments to the Dutch Working Conditions Act

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Suzan van der Meer, Attorney — Rutgers & Posch

The amendments to the Working Conditions Act came into effect on July 1, 2017. The amendments mainly impact the current relationship with the occupational health and safety service provider and the rights and obligations of the company doctor. Consequently, as of July 1, 2017, every employee is entitled to a second opinion by a different company doctor. Furthermore, the works council or employee representative body has the right to consent when selecting a prevention officer and their role in the organization.

Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Denying Transition Fee to Pensioners Constitutes Prohibited Age Discrimination

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Suzan van der Meer, Attorney — Rutgers & Posch

Under Dutch law, employees are not entitled to a transition payment (statutory severance payment) when the employment agreement is terminated as a result of, or after the employee reached, the state pension and/or retirement age. The Supreme Court will consider whether this specific statutory provision constitutes a prohibited discrimination based on age. If found to be in conflict with the European Directive 2000/78/EC, which requires equal treatment in employment and occupation, the statutory provision likely will be declared inapplicable (in whole or in part).

 

Dutch Supreme Court Issues Guidance for the Calculation of Fair Compensations

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Suzan van der Meer, Attorney — Rutgers & Posch

The Supreme Court recently provided guidelines on the calculation of the “fair compensation,” a type of severance available under the Work and Security Act (WWZ) that a court can award to employees in very specific circumstances (such as a “voidable termination” or an employer’s seriously culpable act or omission). Contrary to other types of severance, courts are free to determine the amount of the fair compensation and are not required to follow a specific formula. However, under the guidelines, lower courts must now specify the factors they are considering when setting the fair compensation amount.

 

Progress Report on Effects of the Work and Security Act

Trend

Author: Suzan van der Meer, Attorney — Rutgers & Posch

Every six months, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment reports on the progress of the Work and Security Act (WWZ). In July 2017, the Minister reported that although the number of fixed contracts is rising since the financial crisis, the number of flexible contracts increases faster. Cautioning against drawing premature conclusions, the Minister said that the full WWZ law and system changes will be evaluated in year 2020 to determine the effects on flexible work, dismissal law, and the unemployment benefits on long-term employment relationships.