On 10 June 2014, the Dutch Senate adopted the Work and Security Act (Wet Werk en Zekerheid). The Act will be introducing a number of significant changes to employment law in the Netherlands during 2015.

Changes from 1 January 2015 include:

  • Employment contracts of six months or fewer may no longer include a probationary period.
  • Fixed term employment contracts may no longer include a non-competition clause unless there are substantial business interests.
  • With a fixed term employment contract of six months or more, the employer must, at the latest one month before the end date, notify the employee in writing whether the employment contract  will be extended.

The most important changes will take effect on 1 July 2015. These include:

  • All employees with an employment contract of at least 24 months, whose employment contract is terminated or not extended by the employer, will be entitled to a statutory transition payment. The possibilities of obtaining additional compensation from the court will be restricted.
  • There will be a statutory time for reflection for employees who agree to a notice to terminate or a  termination agreement. Within fourteen days after such agreement has been recorded in writing an employee can, without having to state reasons, withdraw his agreement.
  • For employment contracts that succeed each other within six months (instead of three), there will, upon entering into a fourth employment contract or after 24 months (instead of 36 months) be a permanent employment contract.
  • There will also be a number of important procedural changes in the way dismissal-related claims and appeals are handled by the courts in the Netherlands.

More details about these changes are included in the legal update regarding the Work and Security Act, produced by the Dutch firm Van Benthem & Keulen.

Anne Haverkort and Wouter van der Boon

Attorneys, Van Benthem & Keulen