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What if your employer asks if you can work more after the lockdown?

Barista and Researcher

During the lockdown, many organizations are closed or have limited opening. When everything is open again, it may be that your employer asks you to work more or longer, for example because he wants longer opening hours or wants to schedule more people due to crowds. He may ask you this and you may agree. Keep in mind that there is always a limit to the number of hours you are allowed to work: this limit is laid down in the Working Hours Act - and sometimes in a collective labor agreement. Our legal specialists explain how that works.

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What does the Working Hours Act say?

The Working Hours Act contains rules about working hours, breaks and night shifts. These rules apply to all employees aged 18 and over - including trainees, temporary workers and seconded workers. For some sectors there are additional or different rules in the law about working hours, for example for the fire brigade, healthcare and catering.

For example, the Labor Act states that you:

  • may work a maximum of 12 hours per shift;
  • may work a maximum of 60 hours per week;
  • are entitled to 11 consecutive hours of rest per day;
  • are entitled to a half-hour break if you work 5,5 hours or more;
  • do not have to work on Sundays, unless you have agreed this with your employer or if it is necessary for your work, such as in healthcare or security.

Would you like to know more about the Working Hours Act? Check the website of the central government and the brochure about the Working Hours Act.

Deviating rules in the collective labor agreement

In principle, the Working Hours Act applies to you if you work for an employer. However, deviations from the law are permitted in a collective labor agreement. For example, this may contain different rules about the length of the working day or how long you can take a break. So check your collective labor agreement carefully.

More information

Do you have questions about the Working Hours Act, or does your employer want you to work more after the lockdown and do you not know what to do? Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Service Center is available every working day from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m. via sc@unie.nl and 0345 851 963.

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