Littler Global Guide - The Netherlands - Q1 2017

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

View all Q1 2017 Global Guide Quarterly updates

House for Whistleblowers Act

Enacted Legislation

Author: Merel Goldschmidt, Attorney — Rutgers Posch Visée Endedijk N.V.

The House for Whistleblowers Act that has become effective as of July 1, 2016, introduces legal protection for whistleblowers and provides for the formation of a new authoritative body, the House for Whistleblowers, which is to advise on and conduct inquiry into the social abuse. The Act is applicable to employees and self-employed persons in both the public and the private sectors.

European Court of Justice Ruled Regarding the Prohibition of Wearing a Headscarf

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Merel Goldschmidt, Attorney — Rutgers Posch Visée Endedijk N.V.

The ECJ ruled on March 14, 2017 that an internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination. However, in the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer’s services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination. The Dutch Institute for Human Rights stressed that the judgment of the ECJ is in line with the Dutch Equal Treatment Act and therefore no changes under Dutch law are expected in this respect.

Postponement Enforcement of DBA Act

Upcoming Deadline for Legal Compliance

Author: Merel Goldschmidt, Attorney — Rutgers Posch Visée Endedijk N.V.

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has announced to postpone enforcement of the Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act until January 1, 2018. This means that if contractors and subcontractors fail to comply with this Act, they will not be fined or be taxed with retroactive effect. Since May 1, 2016 the Declaration of Independent Contractor Status (VAR) has been replaced by model agreements based on the Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act (DBA Act). As long as the business relationship between a contractor and a self-employed professional is based on such an agreement, contractors will be exempt from paying payroll taxes for this professional for this specific contract. It is not mandatory to work according to a model agreement, in that case parties are obliged to assess whether or not an employment relationship exists and payroll taxes should be withhold.

Elections to the Lower House


Author: Merel Goldschmidt, Attorney — Rutgers Posch Visée Endedijk N.V.

On March 15, 2017 the elections to the Lower House (Tweede Kamer) took place. The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has become the largest party (33 seats). The Party for Freedom (PVV) (the party of Geert Wilders) has become the second largest party (20 seats). The following period will be used to explore the possibilities to form a government and a majority in the Lower House (76 seats). Depending on the formation of the government this might lead to labor and employment developments. Changes in Dutch dismissal law, including changes regarding the employment of temporary employees, are to be expected.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.