- What is an employment contract?
If you receive wages as an employee and are employed by an employer, you have an employment contract. An employment contract contains the individual agreements that you and your employer have made and that you and your employer must comply with. This can be done in writing or orally, but it is advisable to have your employment contract recorded in writing. This way you prevent any discussions or conflicts about agreements made.
- What is a temporary employment contract?
If you as an employee receive wages and are employed by an employer, then you have an employment contract. This is a reciprocal agreement between you and your employer, which means that the rights and obligations apply to both you and your employer. A temporary employment contract contains at least the same points as a standard employment contract, except that a temporary contract only applies for a fixed period of time. This can be for a few months, but also for a year or for the duration of a project.
- What does the notification obligation entail?
The notification obligation, also known as the notification period, is an obligation that applies when an employer and employee conclude a temporary contract of 6 months or longer. This notification obligation means that the employer must notify in writing whether the contract will be extended, no later than 1 month before the end of the contract. And if so, under what conditions this happens.
- What if my employer does not comply with the notification obligation?
If it happens that your employer does not inform you in time whether your employment contract will be continued, your employer will owe you compensation.
- My temporary contract states that it will not be renewed. Does this also apply as a notification requirement?
If it is stated in the employment contract that your contract will not be renewed after its expiry, the notice period has been met. However, this does not mean that the contract cannot be renewed. If your employer still decides to extend your contract, that is of course allowed.
- What is an employment contract for an indefinite period?
If you, as an employee, enter into an employment contract for an indefinite period, then you have a permanent contract or a permanent employment contract. This means that you and your employer have agreed an employment contract without an expiry date.
- What contracts are there for on-call workers?
On-call workers are becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands. You are an on-call worker when you come to work when your employer calls you. This can be for a few hours, but also for whole days. The growing popularity of stand-by workers requires different contract forms than usual.
- What is an on-call contract with a pre-agreement?
A pre-contract on call is actually nothing more than a letter of intent. Your employer is not obliged to summon you for work and you, as an on-call worker with a pre-contract, are not obliged to respond to any summons. If you do respond to the call and start working, an employment contract will be created and the agreements made in the preliminary agreement will apply.
- What is a zero hours contract?
A zero-hour contract is an employment contract with a deferred performance obligation, whereby it is not agreed how many hours will be worked per period. Your employer can call you if he needs you and you will only be paid for your hours worked. You do have to be available for calls from your employer and you are in principle obliged to start working if you are called up.
- What is a min-max contract?
A min-max contract is an employment contract in which a minimum number of hours is set. These are called the warranty hours. This minimum number of hours entitles you to wages every period and you also accrue vacation days, for example. In addition to this minimum number of hours, you may be called up for more hours.
- As a temporary worker, do I also have an employment contract?
If you work through an employment agency, then you are dealing with three parties: the employer (the employment agency), the employee (the temporary worker) and the company where you work as a temporary worker (the hirer or client). As a temporary worker you have a special employment contract with the temporary employment agency, namely a temporary employment contract.
- What is a non-competition clause?
A non-competition clause is a special provision in an employment contract that limits your options after the employment contract between you and your employer has ended. For example, a non-competition clause can limit you in the work that you are allowed to perform for a new employer, as well as in the sector or the type of company where you want to work.
- What is a relationship clause?
As an employer you hire employees. And those employees come into contact with your customers. In fact, when these employees leave the company, it is easy for them to take or approach those customers. To prevent this, an employer can include a relationship clause in your contract.
- Can my employer agree on a non-competition clause with me?
Yes. An employer may agree a non-competition clause with you, provided this is done under certain conditions. For example, a non-competition clause is only valid if it has been agreed in writing and when you as an employee are of age. Furthermore, a non-competition clause may only be included in employment contracts for an indefinite period.
- What can I do to get rid of my non-competition clause?
It may happen that you want to get rid of your non-competition clause. You want to work for another party, or maybe you want to start your own business. When making this decision, it is first of all important to check whether the included non-competition clause is legally valid.
- What is the difference between a non-competition clause and a ban on ancillary activities?
The main difference between a non-competition clause and a prohibition on ancillary activities is in fact that a ban on ancillary activities applies during your employment contract, where a non-competition clause applies after the expiry of your employment contract.
- How much can I earn in my job?
The law does not determine how much you should earn if you fulfill a specific position. If a collective labor agreement applies, your employer must adhere to the job classification and corresponding salary scales of the relevant collective labor agreement. Doesn't a collective labor agreement apply? Then in principle you can negotiate with your employer about the amount of your wages. This so-called wage negotiation comes from two sides. You as an employee naturally have your requirements and wishes, but your employer has those too. The only thing your (potential) employer must observe is the legal minimum wage (WML).
- What is the legal minimum wage?
To prevent underpayment, the law states that as an employee you should receive a statutory minimum wage, based on your age. This is further independent of your position and experience. The Statutory Minimum Wage (WML) is the gross wage that employees over the age of 21 must earn. The statutory minimum youth wages apply to employees between the ages of 15 and 20. These wages are adjusted twice a year, in January and in July.
- Am I entitled to continued payment of my wages during my break?
No. In principle, you are not entitled to wages during breaks. After all, you are not working. The Working Hours Act therefore does not include anything about continued payment during breaks.
- Am I entitled to continued payment of my wages if I am not working on a public holiday?
Contrary to what is often expected, there is no statutory regulation for employees that public holidays should be days off. In your employment contract, collective labor agreement or personnel guide you can check whether you are free on a public holiday and under what conditions your wages will continue to be paid. Whether your wages continue to be paid during public holidays therefore depends on your situation.
- What is a notice period?
The notice period is the period that applies to the employee or employer when one of the parties wishes to terminate the employment contract. The length of the notice period depends, among other things, on the duration of your contract and whether you are still in your probationary period, for example.
- When does the notice period start?
By law, you must always quit your job by the end of the calendar month. The notice period then starts from the first day of the following calendar month.
- I'm on probation. Do I have a notice period?
No. If you are in your probationary period, you can cancel your contract within the probationary period whenever you want. If you choose this, your employment will end immediately. Remember to cancel your employment in writing, otherwise your cancellation will not be valid.
- I have a temporary contract. Do I have a notice period?
The cancellation period for a temporary contract depends on your situation. If you have a fixed-term contract, in some cases you have a notice period. A temporary employment contract will (automatically) expire on the end date stated in your contract. You cannot therefore cancel your contract before that end date, unless it is stated in writing in your contract that you can terminate the employment contract prematurely. You can then check what the notice period is in your employment contract or in your collective labor agreement. Always check your contract to be sure.
- I have a permanent contract. How long is my cancellation period?
In principle, you have a notice period of 1 month for an employment contract for an indefinite period. Your employer may only agree on a shorter term if this is stated in your collective labor agreement or if it is included in the personnel guide.
- What is probation?
You can see a trial period as an agreed period in which the employee and employer get to know each other. During this probationary period, both the employee and the employer can immediately terminate the employment contract.
- I have a temporary contract. Can a probationary period be included?
Whether a probationary period may be included in a temporary contract depends on the duration of your contract and whether a collective labor agreement or personnel guide applies. In principle, no probationary period may be agreed for fixed-term employment contracts of 6 months or less. This also applies to temporary employment contracts in which no end date has been agreed, such as for the duration of a project.
- I have a permanent contract. How long can the trial period be?
When you get a permanent contract or employment contract for an indefinite period, a trial period of a maximum of 2 months can be agreed. Your employer must record this in writing.
- My temporary contract is being extended. Can a trial period be taken up again?
If your temporary contract or employment contract is subsequently extended, then, in principle, a trial period may not be included in the renewed employment contract. There is one exception: if your subsequent employment contract involves a completely different position, for which different activities and responsibilities apply, then a probationary period may again be included.
- I first worked on a temporary basis and then got a direct contract with the client. Do I have a probationary period?
If you initially worked on a temporary basis, but are then immediately offered a contract by the client for the same position, no probationary period may be taken. The function is the same, the activities are the same and the client and you already know each other.
Reorganization and dismissal
- I am redundant. What does that mean for me?
Due to a reorganization, your position may lapse or fewer employees are needed in a certain position. As a result, you can be declared redundant. Always ask your employer for a written explanation as to why you have been found to be redundant and which schemes you can use. Consider, for example, guidance from work-to-work, a severance package with compensation or facilities that are included in a social plan. A number of provisions that may be included in a social plan include severance pay, suitable work within the organization and work-to-work guidance outside your employer. Unfortunately, it can also mean that you will be dismissed from your employer.
- What is the reflection principle?
The reflection principle determines, in case of dismissal for business reasons, the sequence in which the dismissals take place. The purpose of the reflection principle is to ensure that you allow the organization to shrink in such a way that the age structure of the workforce remains the same as much as possible before and after the layoff round. According to the reflection principle, an employer, per age group, must be the first to nominate the employee with the shortest employment contract for dismissal.
- When is collective redundancy?
A collective redundancy occurs when twenty or more employees, active in the same work area, are dismissed within 3 months. An unpleasant situation, but for economic reasons an employer sometimes cannot do otherwise. In the case of collective redundancies, the WMCO (Collective Redundancy Notification Act) indicates which regulations the employer must observe.
- In what situation does the employer have to apply for dismissal from the UWV for me?
In case of dismissal for business reasons, your employer must apply for a dismissal permit from the UWV. A so-called application for dismissal. The UWV will then assess your employer's application, after which you will receive a copy of the application. This copy always contains the option to submit an objection.
- In what situation must the employer apply for dismissal from the subdistrict court for me?
In the event of dismissal for personal reasons, such as a disrupted employment relationship or malfunctioning, an employer must go to the Subdistrict Court. He can submit a request through the Subdistrict Court to be allowed to dissolve your employment contract. In order to do this, the employer must have built up a file. On the basis of this file, the judge decides whether the employment will be terminated.
- What is instant dismissal?
Instant dismissal is when your employer has an urgent reason to dismiss you immediately. In case of summary dismissal, your employee does not have to take the notice period into account. The instant dismissal does not have to be submitted to the UWV or the subdistrict court. If you want to challenge the summary dismissal as an employee, you can do so through the subdistrict court.
- What is consensual dismissal?
If you and your employer reach a joint agreement about the termination of your employment, this is of course also possible without the permission of the subdistrict court or the UWV. Keep in mind that you have the agreements on the basis of which your employment contract is terminated in writing in a termination agreement. This agreement is also called a settlement agreement.
- How many vacation days am I entitled to?
As an employee you are always entitled to legal holidays. How many vacation days you are entitled to depends on the number of hours you work per week. This is expressed in hours and is four times your number of contract hours on an annual basis. If you work 40 hours a week, you are therefore entitled to 160 holiday hours. (And with that 20 vacation days.) In addition, you may be entitled to vacation days that exceed the statutory value. We will explain more about this in the third question in the segment 'holidays'.
- What are legal holidays?
Statutory vacation days are the minimum number of vacation days to which you are legally entitled. As an employee you are always entitled to legal holidays. How many vacation days you are entitled to depends on the number of hours you work per week. This is expressed in hours and is four times your number of contract hours on an annual basis. If you work 40 hours a week, you are therefore entitled to 160 holiday hours. (And with that 20 vacation days.)
- What are non-statutory holidays?
You accrue standard vacation days with your employer. These are the legal holidays. But there are also vacation days that are extra statutory. If you receive a number of vacation days in addition to your statutory vacation days, these extra days are the vacation days that exceed the statutory value.
- When do my holidays expire?
You always want to prevent the expiry of your vacation days. That is why it is good to know when your holidays expire. The legal vacation days expire six months after the calendar year in which they were accrued. The expiry period of the extra-statutory holidays is much longer. You can take extra days of vacation up to five years after the calendar year in which they are accrued. When you apply for a holiday with your employer, it is therefore advisable to indicate that you first want to take your statutory holidays.
- Does my employer have to agree with my vacation application?
In principle, your employer must approve your vacation application. Also look at the rules that apply at your employer. Your employer may only reject your vacation application if your business is endangered by your absence. If this is the case, your employer must let you know in writing within 2 weeks. If this does not happen within 2 weeks, your holiday application has in principle been approved.
- Am I entitled to ATV / ADV days?
In principle, the law does not say anything about working hours and working hours reduction, in other words adv or atv days. You can check in your employment contract, personnel guide or collective labor agreement whether specific agreements have been made. In these agreements you can read the number of atv and adv days, and what their status is. For example, it may be agreed that these days are free to take, but also that your employer will include them in your schedule.
- I have a zero hours contract. Do I also accrue vacation days?
Yes. You also accrue vacation days with a zero-hour contract. But because you do not work a fixed number of hours per week, it cannot be indicated in advance how many vacation days you will accrue. How your vacation days are accrued depends on your employment contract or collective labor agreement that goes with it.
- What is arranged for a doctor's visit and a dentist visit during working hours?
There is no legal regulation for visiting the dentist or doctor during working hours. Whether agreements have been made about this can often be found in your collective labor agreement, employment contract or internal company regulations. The reason for this is that many employees cannot see a doctor, dentist or physiotherapist on weekends or evenings. If there is nothing in your collective labor agreement or company regulations, you can discuss with your employer whether you will continue to be paid during absence.
- In addition to my work, I perform informal care tasks. Which schemes can I use?
If you perform informal care tasks alongside your work, there are various arrangements that help you. Depending on the duration and necessity of the informal care tasks to be performed, you can appeal to statutory regulations that are included in the WAZO (Work and Care Act). Think of emergency leave, short-term care leave and / or long-term care leave.
- What is emergency leave?
Emergency leave, also known as short-term absenteeism leave, is a statutory regulation that comes into effect when you have to take time off immediately. Emergency leave is aimed at unforeseen personal circumstances - calamities.
- What is short-term care leave?
Short-term care leave is a statutory scheme for employees. This arrangement gives you the opportunity to take care of a sick or needy person in your immediate environment. This often concerns first and second degree blood relatives, members of your household and acquaintances (for example parents-in-law, neighbors or friends). The condition for the latter group is also that given the relationship it is likely that you are the only one who can provide the care.
- What is long-term care leave?
Long-term care leave is a statutory scheme for employees. This arrangement gives you the opportunity to take care of someone close to you who is life-threateningly ill or who is dependent on help for a longer period of time. This often concerns first and second degree blood relatives, members of your household and acquaintances (for example, parents-in-law, neighbors or friends). The condition for the latter group is also that given the relationship it is likely that you are the only one who can provide the care.
- What is maternity leave?
Maternity leave is a statutory regulation that stipulates that a pregnant employee is entitled to a total of at least 16 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave. The commencement date depends on the expected delivery date. You can start the leave from 6 weeks, no later than 4 weeks before this date.
- What is parental leave?
Parental leave is a statutory regulation that provides that you are given more time to care for your child (ren). You can submit a request for parental leave to your employer. This statutory regulation applies to your child (ren) aged up to 8 years.
- Am I entitled to special leave?
Special leave applies in situations such as a funeral or wedding of a family member, a move or a doctor's visit. (Except in the event of the death of a direct family member. In that case, emergency leave applies, which may then turn into special leave.) Contrary to popular belief, there is no statutory regulation for special or special leave. This means that you are not automatically entitled to a day off with continued payment of your wages.
- What has been arranged if I want to take unpaid leave for free use?
There is no statutory regulation for taking unpaid leave. You should therefore not confuse it with the statutory regulations whereby you can stop your work in time to provide care, for example. If you want to take unpaid leave as an employee, you can ask your employer about the possible options. Please note that with unpaid leave your income will be lower and that this can have consequences for supplements, benefits, pension accrual and vacation days.
- Where are the rules set about my working hours?
The rules regarding working hours are described in the Working Hours Act, as well as things about rest times, night shifts, standby shifts and working on Sundays. These rules apply not only to contracted employees over the age of 18 (and young people aged 16 and 17), but also to trainees, temporary workers and seconded workers.
- Can I work without taking a break?
Taking a break is mandatory. After 5,5 hours of work, you are officially entitled to a break. These 5,5 hours of work is actually the maximum number of hours that you are allowed to work without a break, because otherwise you will lose your sharpness. If you work longer than 5,5 hours, you are entitled to a minimum of 30 minutes break. If you work longer than 10 hours, you are entitled to a 45-minute break. Deviations from this scheme may be made in a collective labor agreement.
- Am I obliged to work on Sundays?
Whether an employer can oblige you to work on Sundays depends on your collective labor agreement, employment contract or internal company regulations. Working on Sundays is in principle on a voluntary basis, unless stated otherwise. Your employer can also agree with the works council or employee representation that you have to work on Sundays.
- Is my travel time also working time?
The travel time between your place of residence and your work is often not seen as working time. Only when there is a work assignment and you have to travel from one location to another at the request of your employer, is it often seen as working time. It is important that you check in your employment contract, collective labor agreement or internal company regulations whether agreements have been made about travel time if you have to travel a lot for work. Commuting is working time in the following cases:
- How about overtime?
There is no specific legislation for overtime. When your employer asks you to work overtime, you cannot simply refuse that request. The number of hours you are allowed to work is of course laid down in the Working Hours Act, but agreements regarding overtime are often laid down in your collective labor agreement, employment contract or internal company regulations.
- What can I do if I want to work part-time?
You want to work part-time. Is that possible just like that? Yes, in fact. The Flexible Working Act allows you to work fewer hours on the basis of a number of conditions. One of these conditions is that you submit a written request to your employer to adjust your working hours.
Illness and reintegration
- Where can I find my rights and obligations during illness and reintegration?
You will find your rights and obligations during illness and reintegration in the so-called Improvement Gatekeeper Act. Both you (as a sick employee) and your employer are both responsible for your reintegration. The reintegration process consists of a number of steps and is included in this 'Gatekeeper Improvement Act'.
- Will I continue to receive my wages if I cannot work due to illness?
Continued payment of wages during illness is legally required for 104 weeks (2 years). If you are sick for a long time, your employer must continue to pay you at least 104% of your wages for 70 weeks. Additional agreements may be included in your collective labor agreement, employment contract or internal company regulations.
- My employer does not accept my sick report. What can I do?
If your employer does not accept your sick report, this can have various reasons. You have not reported sick according to the regulations or he does not believe that you are sick. What can you do then?
- Do I have to respond to the call from the company doctor?
Yes. During illness you follow the inspection regulations of your employer. This also includes a discussion with the company doctor. You can bring someone to the interview if you feel more comfortable with it. Making an appointment with the company doctor can also be preventively requested by you as an employee. Precisely to prevent you from dropping out due to illness.
- I have doubts about the advice of the company doctor. What can I do?
If you do not agree with the advice of your company doctor, it is advisable to first contact the company doctor yourself. You can ask for an explanation or provide one yourself. If this does not lead to different advice, you can ask for a second opinion from another company doctor in consultation with your company doctor. Your employer pays the costs for the second opinion. You can also request an expert opinion from the UWV. There are costs associated with this.
- What is the risk if I do not want to have a conversation with my employer during illness?
In this matter too, you must comply with the control regulations of your employer. It is therefore advisable to participate in a meeting with your employer. If the company doctor has clearly advised (and recorded) that it is better for your recovery not to have contact with your employer, then this is not necessary.
- What can I do if my employer and I disagree about the reintegration?
If you and your employer disagree about the reintegration or about the opinion of the company doctor, then you both have the option to request an expert opinion. This judgment is an objective approach from the UWV. This expert opinion entails costs. These costs are different for the employer and employee. The costs are for the party requesting the research. The application takes 2 to 4 weeks. However, the outcome is not binding, which means that the decision cannot be appealed.