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New legislation entered into force: are your employment agreements templates up to date?

Since 1 August 2022, employers must comply with an important new Act: the Act ‘Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions’. This bill serves to implement the EU Directive of the same name and contains, amongst others, new regulations regarding the information on working conditions the employer should provide to the employee, ancillary activities, study costs and unpredictable work patterns. All the employers to which Dutch employment law applies are obliged to comply with the new legislation.

What are the most important changes?

Extension of employer’s obligation to provide information

The existing information obligation of the employer has been extended. Employers must provide employees with more information about the applicable working conditions, such as:

  • holidays and leave arrangements;
  • working hours;
  • duration and conditions of the trail period;
  • procedural aspects at the termination of employment (including the notice periods);
  • wage components;
  • the place the work is carried out;
  • the possible right to training.

In most cases, the additional information can be included in the employment agreement or the staff handbook (if applicable). Non-compliance with the information obligation may result in liability for the resulting damages incurred by employees.

Limitations to prohibit ancillary activities

A general prohibition on performing ancillary activities is no longer allowed unless employers have an objective reason for restricting such activities (such as the health and safety of the employee). Without an objective reason, any contractual restrictions is void.

Mandatory training

The cost of any mandatory training has to be covered by the employer and time spent by an employee on such training is regarded as working time. It is no longer possible to agree with the employee that they will repay all or part of the (mandatory) training costs after they leave employment, and any such existing clauses will be void.

Request for predictable work

Employees, whose work pattern is entirely or mostly unpredictable, are entitled to apply for more predictable and secure working conditions (such as a more predictable schedule). Employers do not have to approve the application, but they must respond in writing within either one or three months (depending on the size of the employer).

Please be aware that this bill has consequences for the contents of the employment agreements, the employee handbook and for study costs and ancillary activity clauses. Therefore, we advise employers (to which Dutch employment law applies) to check whether both the employment agreements concluded on or after 1 August 2022 and the employment conditions regulations are in line with the new legislation.

Wieringa Advocaten

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about the new act and/or the practical implementation thereof. Of course, we would also be happy to assist you with a review of your template employment agreement and/or staff handbook to ensure compliance with the new act.

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New legislation entered into force: are your employment agreements templates up to date?