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  • Writer's pictureJoost van Ladesteijn

Government follows advice of Socio-Economic Council for simplification of Dutch leave system

Graphic illustration showing the three simplified leave categories proposed by the Dutch government: care for children, care for relatives, and personal situations

With regards to the Dutch leave system, the Dutch government proposes to consolidate the various schemes into three types of leave:


  1. Care for children;

  2. Care for relatives; and

  3. Personal situations.


The responsible minister stated in her letter to the House of Representatives on April 10, 2024 that complexity, lack of clarity, and changed needs have led to the desire to simplify the leave system. This system can indeed be improved, but let's not pretend that the current system is complex. The current system only exceptionally leads to legal proceedings.


It’s certainly a good move, and should be done swiftly, but here is our labor law priority list:

  • #1 Separating fiscal and civil employment contracts. Article 7:610 of the Dutch Civil Code remains unchanged.

  • #2 Abolishing the preventive dismissal assessment.

  • #3 Increasing learning ability and more efficient coding of public systems through an inventory of system failures and recommendations by social partners.

  • #4 Splitting social security law from labor law with a simplified social security system, including shorter wage continuation during illness.

  • #5 Increasing the impact of independent advice on legislative proposals. For example, two negative proposals could mean the end of the process.

  • #6 Emphasizing the importance of Article 7:611 of the Dutch Civil Code. Thus, abolishing Article 7:613 of the Dutch Civil Code and the Flexible Working Act, and retracting the proposal for a right to disconnect.

  • #7 Reducing the substantive scope of collective labor agreements to the so-called hard core of labor conditions.

  • #8 More customization in the testing framework of Collective Labor Agreements, so that employers can deviate from a collective labor agreement's provisions in cases of financial equivalency, including faster granting of dispensations.

  • #9 Presenting essential issues for practice directly to the Dutch Supreme Court in the interest of the law.

  • #10 Simplifying the leave system.

  • #11 Simplifying implementation articles in Title 10, Book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code for directive-conform interpretations.

Further considerations might include:

  • More extensive motivation by the Supreme Court

  • Periodically creating overviews of jurisprudence and perspectives by academia on website of the Government of the Netherlands.

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