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  • Writer's pictureJoost van Ladesteijn

Dutch business climate: as Lubach says it

Het Nederlandse investeringsklimaat

The Dutch government is taking a European lead in the fight for sustainability and against social inequality with increasingly stringent rules for the admission of temporary employment agencies, the qualification of employment contracts and, for example, platform workers and algorithm management.

The business community is now making its voice heard with ladles on pans in the face of proposals to tax the purchase of own shares, simplify the innovation box and, for example, slow down the influx of foreign students. They are no longer holding back. Dutch politics is said to be particularly unpredictable.

With the adoption of broad prosperity in the mission statements, visions and the like of VNO-NCW and the Social and Economic Council, there is a growing sense that the government's policy and accompanying proposals resemble those of a trade union.

Hand in hand with this, legal protection is increasingly being enshrined in labor law through European legislation and regulations. Think of holidays, equal treatment, co-determination, occupational health and safety, whistleblowers, the provision of labor, privacy, the Waga, the WTVA or the transfer of a business as just a few examples of many others.

In other words: in labor law, too, the balance has shifted significantly in favor of employees and to the detriment of employers. This is further reinforced by the unions with a barrage of lawsuits and strikes.

Strikingly, there is minimal discussion about a relaxation of dismissal law and pay continuation in case of illness, with which we have been a European outlier for decades and even globally unique (e.g. with a preventive dismissal test and two years of pay continuation) also in favor of employees.

While red carpets are being rolled out by foreign governments, MNCs are (considering) relocating their business activities and the Dutch SME sector is being bought up, the question is therefore what the big words of VNO-NCW such as "concrete rot" are worth. One would think that it should not be too difficult to get across the stage that in the Netherlands, for example, "fixed less fixed" should also be the case. Then also join in with this European-wide.

Read here a contribution from the Dutch Financial Times about the business climate in France.


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