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  • Writer's pictureJoost van Ladesteijn

10 Proposals for a new Dutch Labor Law!

Infographic summarizing the "10 Proposals for a New Dutch Labor Law" focusing on changes and impacts.

A historical stream of legislation has come into effect in recent years; collective bargaining agreements have thickened. Few to no rules have been removed.


Dutch labor law is strongly regulated by European standards. Consider, for example, vacation, equal treatment, the Working Conditions Act, the Working Hours Adjustment Act, business transfer, occupational health and safety, privacy, whistleblowing, and strikes.


There is frequent comparison to other countries from an employee perspective, but limited from an employer perspective. For example, the Netherlands has been globally unique for decades with a preventive dismissal examination.


Social rights such as lifelong learning are highlighted, but equally important freedoms such as the freedom of services and entrepreneurship remain in the shadows. Specifically, in competition law, a direction for a counterbalance to criticized market operations is evident.


Especially the impact of labor law on social security law and fiscal issues results in implementation problems. The recent Octas report confirms the increasing proliferation and complexity due to over-organization.


Proposals are often dichotomous in prevailing diversity. Every report indicates that the freelancer, the entrepreneur, etc., do not exist.


To look further, please find below 10 proposals for new Dutch labor law:


  • Separate the fiscal from the civil employment contract. The private labor law needs to be strengthened with an increasing use of labor law as a labor market instrument. This involves holistic tests. The legal practice can handle this well. Section 7:610 of the Dutch Civil Code can then remain unchanged;

  • Separate labor law from social security law in title 10 of book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code. From there, initiate the political discussion about rights in this system.

  • Emphasize the importance of section 7:611 of the Dutch Civil Code. With this, abolish section 7:613 of the Dutch Civil Code and the Flexible Working Act. Withdraw proposals such as the right to unavailability.

  • Abolish the preventive dismissal examination.

  • In title 10 of book 7 BW, only mention deviations from European directives in directive-conform interpretations.

  • Reduce the substantive scope of collective labor agreements to the so-called hard core of employment conditions.

  • Flexibilize the general binding statement assessment framework so that employers can deviate in cases of financial equivalence.

  • For peace and predictability, the Supreme Court should provide more extensive motivations in its judgments regarding its relation to sources of law. Cases essential to practice are to be directly presented to it.

  • Two negative independent advices should lead to the rejection of a bill.

  • Periodically, legal academia publishes overviews of jurisprudence with analyses of viewpoints on a website of the national government.

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