Future Labor Law Reforms

Various legislative proposals and initiatives aim to improve the position of workers, create a more balanced playing field between staffing agencies and employers, and reduce disparities between permanent and flexible jobs. From admission systems to measures against false self-employment, and from mandatory confidential advisors to equal pay for men and women: these labor law reforms are an integral part of a broader effort to modernize and optimize the labor landscape in the Netherlands. Below is a detailed overview of some of the proposed changes and their intended impact on the Dutch labor market.

Admission System (formerly Certification System)

On October 10, 2023, the proposal for the Employment of Temporary Workers Admission Act (Wtta) was submitted to the House of Representatives. It aims to make it mandatory for staffing agencies and temp agencies to be certified before they can engage in temporary employment. A requirement to deposit a security deposit is also introduced. The purpose of the law is to improve the position of the workforce and create a fairer playing field by excluding staffing agencies that do not comply with the law from the market.

The intended effective date is January 1, 2026 (not yet definitive). Private capacity is expected not to be in order by then, so a transitional arrangement is likely to be in place.

More Certainty for Flexible Workers Act

This bill aims to reduce the differences between permanent and flexible jobs by proposing measures related to temporary, on-call, and temporary employment contracts.

Temporary contracts

Up to 3 temporary contracts can be concluded for a maximum of 3 years.

  • The statutory interruption period is abolished, and an administrative expiration period of 5 years is introduced.
  • An exception is made for students, with an interruption period of 6 months, and for seasonal work, a period of 3 months (to be agreed upon in a collective labor agreement provision).
On-call contracts:
  • Zero-hours contracts are abolished.
  • Basic contracts with a minimum number of hours are introduced.
  • A standard is set for additional availability, with no obligation to work outside this availability.
Temporary employment contracts:
  • The duration of phases 1-2 (temporary employment clause and unlimited use of temporary contracts and exclusion of wage payment during illness) is legally set at 52 weeks. There is no longer the possibility of deviation through a collective labor agreement.
  • The statutory interruption period of 6 months is replaced by an administrative expiration period of 5 years.
  • Phase 3 is limited to 6 contracts in 2 years.

The effective date of this legislation is not yet known. The bill was open for internet consultation until September 4, 2023.

Combatting False Self-Employment for Freelancers

On October 6, 2023, the successor to the DBA Act, namely the Clarification of Assessment of Employment Relationships and Presumption Act, was presented for internet consultation. This bill aims to contribute to restoring the balance between working as an independent contractor and as an employee. To achieve this, it is necessary to clearly delineate when someone is working as an independent contractor and when as an employee. What is new is that indications pointing to self-employment will be given more weight in the qualification question.

This bill is part of the labor market reform package announced by Minister Van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment in April 2023.

Proposal for Mandatory Appointment of a Confidential Advisor for Employers with Ten Employees

A bill that obliges employers with at least 10 employees to provide access to a confidential advisor for their personnel is currently before the Senate. The exact effective date is not yet known.

Proposal for Equal Pay for Men and Women

There is currently a bill before the House of Representatives in which employers are obliged to demonstrate that equal work receives equal pay. The effective date of this bill is also currently unknown.

Reforming Non-compete Clauses

On June 2, 2023, the government announced its intention to tighten and reform the regulations regarding non-compete clauses, among other things, to facilitate labor market mobility. The bill still needs to be drafted and then sent to the Senate and the House of Representatives. The effective date for this proposal is currently unknown.

Supervision of Equal Opportunities in Recruitment and Selection Act

There is a bill that obliges employers and intermediaries to document a procedure on how discrimination is prevented in recruitment and selection. In addition, there is an obligation for intermediaries to report if clients make discriminatory requests.

The expected effective date is likely to be January 1, 2025.

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