Littler Global Guide - Netherlands - Q4 2020

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 Q4 2020 Global Guide Quarterly updates   Download full Q4 2020 Global Guide Quarterly

Raise of Statutory Minimum Wage

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Dennis Veldhuizen, Partner – Clint | Littler

Every year the Dutch statutory minimum wage is redefined in January and July. As of January 1, 2021, the statutory minimum wage is raised from EUR 1,680 to EUR 1684.80 (gross). The minimum wages per week and day are adjusted accordingly.

Supreme Court on Standard for Qualification of Employment Contract

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Dennis Veldhuizen, Partner – Clint | Littler

On November 6, 2020, the Dutch Supreme Court issued a ruling clarifying the relevant criteria to determine whether a contract qualifies as an employment contract. Since the Groen/Schoevers ruling of the Supreme Court in 1997, it was assumed that the rights and obligations agreed upon by the parties, as well as their intention while agreeing, were the relevant criteria. However, the Supreme Court has now clarified that the intention of parties plays no role in this qualification process. Whether a contract qualifies as an employment contract should be based solely on the rights and obligations agreed upon by the parties. Whether the parties originally had the intention to enter into an employment contract or not is relevant only for clarifying the rights and obligations that exist between parties.

COVID-19 “Now” Financial Support Measures to Compensate for Loss of Turnover

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Author: Dennis Veldhuizen, Partner – Clint | Littler

As part of financial support measures for companies who suffer revenue losses due to COVID-19, the government set up the Temporary Emergency Fund Bridging Employment (in Dutch: NOW). Under this measure, companies that lost at least 20 percent of revenues can get a maximum of 80 percent of their wage costs compensated by the government. The government extended NOW for the third time as of October 2020 for nine months, until July 2021, to raise the required minimum loss to 30 percent and to cut back the compensation per phase of three months. However, since COVID is still very present, tightening the measure is postponed; up to and including at least March 2021 the threshold will remain at 20% revenue-loss and the maximum compensation will remain 80 percent of wage costs. Applications for the first phase of the third NOW closed on December 28, 2020, but the application period for the second phase (covering January, February and March 2021) will open on February 15, 2021.

Legislative Proposal for Nine Weeks of Paid Parental Leave

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Author: Dennis Veldhuizen, Partner – Clint | Littler

The Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment submitted a bill to introduce nine weeks of paid parental leave, to comply with EU Directive 2019/1158 regarding the work-life balance for parents and carers. Currently, Dutch law offers parents the possibility to take unpaid parental leave of 26 weeks, in case of full-time work, before the child reaches the age of 8. The bill proposes to introduce a statutory right to nine (of the 26) weeks of parental leave in the first year after birth of the child against 50% of the salary. The bill still has to be adopted by the House of Representatives and the Upper House; implementation is expected in August 2022.

Dutch Government’s Review of Untaxed Payment of Fixed Travel Allowances for Teleworkers

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

Author: Dennis Veldhuizen, Partner – Clint | Littler

Travel allowances paid by employers to employees are untaxed up to € 0.19 per kilometer and many employers pay this in the form of a fixed monthly travel allowance. In 2020, many employees started working from home instead of travelling to work. As part of financial government measures, the tax authority allowed employers to continue untaxed payment of fixed travel allowances to their employees – provided that they were already paid before March 13, 2020 – although employees did not actually incur these costs. This will be allowed until at least February 1, 2021. In January 2021, the government will announce how fixed travel allowances for teleworkers will be treated by the tax authority as of February and beyond.

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.