The labour market is constantly changing due to various factors. One is the needs of employees. These needs create friction between employer and employees. This causes the rules of labour law to have to change along with them. As of 1 August 2022, a number of important changes have been introduced within labour law. Through the EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Terms of Employment Implementation Act, the employment pattern is being shaped into a transparent and predictable market. Below, the changes are outlined one by one.
Predictable working hours
From 1 August 2022, if you are an employee with non-standard or unpredictable working hours, you must fix your reference days and hours in advance. This also stipulates the following. Employees who have been employed for at least 26 weeks can request work with more predictable and secure working conditions. If less than 10 employees are employed in the company, a written and reasoned response must be given within three months. If there are more than 10 employees in the company, this deadline is one month. Timely response from the employer is expected as otherwise the request should be granted without question.
Furthermore, the notice period for refusing work will be adjusted to four days before commencement. This means that, as an employee, you may refuse work if it is requested by the employer less than four days before the start of work.
Right to free compulsory education/training
If, as an employee, you want, or need, to attend a training course, your employer must pay all the costs of that training, including additional costs for study supplies or travel expenses. Moreover, you must be given the opportunity to attend the training during working hours. The new regulation from 1 August 2022 prohibits agreeing a study cost clause for compulsory training in the employment contract. Since that date, these rules also apply to existing contracts. In doing so, it does not matter whether you have completed the study well or poorly or whether the employment contract ends.
What are compulsory training courses?
Training derived from national or European law falls under compulsory training. Training that follows from a collective labour agreement or a legal position regulation is also included. Also a training course that is functionally necessary or provides for continuation in case the function becomes vacant. A training course or education that you, as an employee, must take for the professional qualification does not automatically fall under compulsory training. The main condition is that the employer is obliged under a scheme to offer certain training to employees.
Ancillary activities are work you do in addition to the activities in your job description, such as organising company outings or running your own business. These activities may be agreed in the employment contract, but these activities may also be prohibited. Since the beginning of August ’22, an objective justification is required to invoke an ancillary activities clause. An example of an objective justification ground is when you engage in activities that could damage the organisation’s image.
Extended duty of disclosure
The employer’s duty to inform has been extended to include the following topics. The employee must be informed about:
- The procedure surrounding the termination of the employment contract, including the requirements, end date and expiry dates;
- the forms of paid leave;
- the duration and conditions of the probationary period;
- salary, including deadlines, amount, components and method of payment;
- The right to training, its content and scope;
- what the employee is insured about and which bodies administer it;
- the name of the hirer in case of a temporary employment contract;
- employment conditions, allowances and expenses and links in case of secondment from the Netherlands to another EU country.
A difference exists between people with fixed working hours and unpredictable working hours. With predictable working hours, the employer must inform about the length of the working period and overtime pay. With unpredictable working hours, you have to be informed about
- the times you have to work;
- the minimum number of paid hours;
- the salary for the hours above the minimum number of working hours;
- the minimum time for convocation (at least four days in advance).
A final change for employers is that they are no longer obliged to designate one or more workstations if the employee does not have a fixed workplace. It can then be indicated that you are free to determine your own workplace.
As an employee, you cannot be disadvantaged when you want to perform any of these subjects. Therefore, terminating the employment contract cannot be done for any of these reasons.
Do you have questions related to employment law? Then feel free to contact our lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +31 (0)40-3690680.