The Employment Law Review 2020

19 May 2020

The employment team of Rutgers & Posch, consisting of Annemarth Hiebendaal, Dirk Jan Rutgers, Stephanie Dekker, Inge de Laat and Annemeijne Zwager, has recently contributed to the 11th edition of the Employment Law Review. The Employment Law Review consists of an overview of employment law in various countries worldwide. The chapter on Dutch employment law can be consulted via the link below.

Next to legal analysis and insight in different jurisdictions, The Employment Law Review also highlights current topics such as the global impact of the #metoo movement, Employment issues in cross-border M&A Transactions, Global diversity, Social Media and Religious discrimination in International Employment Law.

The Netherlands

Employment is regulated in the Netherlands by three main sources: legislation, collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and individual employment contracts.

The most important employment law regulations are set forth in Book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code. Various apsects of Dutch employment law are also governed in a number of specific acts, such as the Works Council Act and the Collectice Dismissal Act.

International law, in particular European Community law, is a significant influence on Dutch employment law. Under Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Union issues Directives that impose minimum requirements concerning terms of employment, working conditions, and informing and consulting employees, which are generally incorporated into the local statutes. If they so wish, EU Member States may offer better protection to the employees than the Directives require.

A CBA is an agreement between one or more employers or employers’ organisations and one or more employees’ organisations that mainly or exclusively regulates terms of employment that must be observed in employment contracts. It regulates many different aspects of the employment relationship between an employer and its employees. As a general rule, in the event of inconsistencies between the provisions of an applicable CBA and the provisions of an employment contract, the CBA will prevail.

Generally, an individual contract between an employee and an employer cannot deviate from statutory employment law and CBAs to the detriment of the employee. Thus, the freedom of contract is limited. An employment contract may also regulate aspects of the employment relationship that are governed by other sources of law, provided that the agreed clauses are more favourable for the employee.