Netherlands Employment Law: Understanding the Basics

The Netherlands is one of the most popular countries in Europe for its breathtaking sites and great living culture. While many foreigners see it as a tourist spot, others tend to migrate to the country for a successful career. If you are moving to the Netherlands in the coming months and want to be fully aware of the Netherlands employment law, we have you covered. This read will walk you through the basics of the country’s employment laws to help you decide.

Employment Laws in the Netherlands

Finding employment opportunities in the Netherlands can be tricky if you are unaware of the sources. For your ease, we have divided this read into multiple sections, highlighting the sources of employment, probationary periods, working time, and overtime policies.

Sources of Employment

The Netherlands regulates employment through legislation, collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), and individual employment contracts. Book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code (DCC) mentions the most critical employment policies. Job seekers can review the regulations to understand how employment works nationwide.

If we speak about the CBAs, they are agreements between one or more employers or employment organizations and one or more employees. These agreements highlight employment terms and contract details for both parties.

On the other hand, individual contracts between employees and employers are subject to mutual consent. However, they cannot deviate from statutory employment law, limiting the freedom of contract for both parties.

Probationary Periods

When working in the Netherlands, probationary periods only apply for employment contracts exceeding six months. Employment contracts with six months or less cannot have probationary periods (according to the country’s employment law). Moreover, employers and employees must mutually agree on terms of probationary periods in a written contract.

As per the Netherlands employment law, either party can terminate the employment contract with immediate effect.

Working Time Policy

Based on the Working Hours Act, employees can work for a maximum of 12 hours each day or a total of 60 hours every week (with no working week exceeding an average of 48 hours of work in a 16-week time). Moreover, the alternative policy suggests that the working hours should be an average of 55 over four weeks at most.

When it comes down to resting periods, employees must have 11 hours of rest every day (with the possibility of a reduction to 8 hours). The night shifts can operate for a maximum of 10 hours (per shift), possibly extending it by two hours.

Overtime Policy

According to the country’s employment law, overtime pay can be decided based on the contractual agreements between employers and employees. In most cases, the CBA (applicable) will contain rules about when overtime must be paid.

The Takeaway

The above factors highlight the basics of the Netherlands employment law, including sources of employment, working hours, probationary periods, and overtime policies. If you want to stay ahead of global compliance and international employment laws, visit Global People Strategist today and schedule a demo.

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