Equal Opportunities in Recruitment Act expected in mid-2024

Diversity and inclusion are on the rise in Dutch society. In line with this, new legislation is in the works to eliminate discrimination and bias in employee recruitment and selection. The law, known as the ‘Supervision of Equal Opportunities in Recruitment and Selection,’ was approved by the Tweede Kamer (The House of Representatives) on March 14, 2023.

Mandatory policy

According to this legislation, employers are mandated to formulate a policy delineating how they organize their recruitment and selection processes to eliminate any potential influence of labor market discrimination. This requirement applies uniformly to all employers.

The policy should manifest that recruitment decisions are exclusively based on pertinent job criteria. It should be structured systematically and be open to verification. Entities employing more than 25 individuals must codify this protocol in writing. Entities with a workforce of up to 25 individuals are only obligated to reduce the protocol to writing if it is explicitly demanded by the Labor Inspectorate, if there is a judicial conviction against the entity for engaging in prohibited discriminatory practices, or if there exists a judgment by the College for Human Rights pertaining to outlawed discrimination.

Notification requirement for intermediaries

Intermediaries will be subject to a mandatory reporting requirement. This entails that intermediaries must possess a procedure for addressing requests that may be indicative of labor market discrimination. They must also implement this procedure. Although no formal written stipulation is imposed, it is advisable to document this procedure in written form. In practical terms, when confronted with a request from a client that could potentially involve discrimination, such as age-based discrimination, intermediaries are obliged to initiate discussions with the client to modify the request. If these discussions do not yield a resolution, intermediaries are mandated to report the issue to the Labor Inspectorate. Subsequent to such reporting, the Labor Inspectorate is authorized to scrutinize the client’s recruitment and selection policies.

The Labor Inspection oversees compliance and can impose fines for non-compliance, which may be made public. In terms of employee representation, works councils (OR) have consent rights concerning recruitment and selection policies. Personnel representation (PVT) must be consulted in their absence.


The legislation is currently pending approval by the Senate (Eerste Kamer). The specific requirements pertaining to the protocol will be further elaborated upon and formalized in subsequent regulations. Additionally, tools designed to aid employers in this regard will be developed.

Thus far, it is known that the procedures must ensure that:

  • The recruitment and selection process is based on relevant job requirements.
  • The procedure is transparent and auditable.
  • The procedure is systematically structured.

For instance via:

  • Clear definition of objective job requirements.
  • Use of neutral job vacancy texts in easily understandable language.
  • Structured interviews with pre-determined questions for all candidates.
  • Involvement of multiple individuals in the decision-making process, including potentially an independent third party.

Need help?

It is anticipated that the law will take effect approximately mid-2024. Of course we will keep you updated and are ready to assist when needed.

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