Up-to-date knowledge and practical advice

Civil servant

Most civil servants became employees on 1 January 2020. This is the result of the Normalization of the Legal Status of Civil Servants Act (so-called Wet normalisering rechtspositie ambtenaren, ‘Wnra’). Most civil servants therefore fall under labor law.

In addition to employment law, the (new) Civil Service Law 2017 also applies. This law regulates the specific obligations of good official conduct and integrity. The intention of the Wnra is that the material legal position (the terms of employment) of the civil servant does not change or deteriorate. Whether that is the case is the question. The applicability of the collective labor agreements, which replace the legal position regulations, is not always properly regulated in practice.

Because of the Wnra, there are also employees who are employed by a government employer - such as UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut werknemersverzekeringen) or DNB (De Nederlandsche Bank)- who have suddenly become civil servants. This means that from January 1, 2020, this group of employees will also fall under the Civil Service Act 2017 and that the rules regarding proper official conduct and integrity apply.

Education sector

For civil servants who worked in public education, at an academic hospital or research institute TNO or NWO, they became employees from 1 January 2020 and are fully equated with their colleagues who already worked on the basis of an employment contract. They have not retained civil servant status. In principle, their position is regulated in the applicable collective labor agreement for the education sector or the collective labor agreement for university medical centers. For these employees, too, not everything is covered by transitional law and there may be uncertainty about the applicability of the collective labor agreement.


There are officials for whom nothing has been changed. They therefore still fall under civil service law and administrative (procedural) law, such as political office holders (mayors, aldermen, commissioners of the king), members of the judiciary or disciplinary boards, police, defense, civil-law notaries and bailiffs.