In order to keep our clients up to date, we regularly organize employment law workshops on the latest news and/or changes in the law. We do this for HR managers, personnel consultants and regular clients. We also organize these inspirational sessions on request, tailored to your individual needs, and also meet our clients at their offices for a lunch session or working breakfast, for example. These sessions will often be for smaller groups about a subject that is particularly relevant to the client. Please contact us, without obligation, to discuss the possibilities for your organization.
We also regularly publish newsletters about developments in employment law. Most of them are available on the Dutch website.
Holiday and corona: what about the right to pay?11-08-2020
The holidays have started. What about wages when an employee goes on vacation to an area with a yellow, orange or red travel advice?
Until January 1, 2020, the main rule in Dutch emploment law was: “No labor, no wages”. An exception to this main rule, so no work, but continued payment of wages, was if the employee had not been able to perform the agreed work due to a reason that should reasonably be for the account of the employer. Not being able to work as a result of an event during the holidays (with the exception of illness) was not a reason that was reasonably for the account of the employer. The employee's inability to return from vacation therefore had to be compensated for by taking extra vacation days or unpaid leave, for example.
Since January 1, 2020, this main rule has been changed to: “No labor, but wages”. This unless the cause for not (being able to) perform the work must be for the employee's account. In the old situation, the employee had to demonstrate that the non-performance of the work was at the employer's risk sphere. Since 1 January 2020, the employer must demonstrate that non-performance of the work is within the employee's sphere of risk.
When it comes to holiday destinations in corona time, we look at the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, indicated by the colors green, yellow, orange and red.
Code red does not recommend traveling to the country in question. In this blog we assume that employees will not travel to an area with code red.
Code orange does not recommend traveling to those countries, unless it is really necessary. Holiday trips do not fall under necessary trips. If someone does go, it is urgent advice from the national government to quarantine for two weeks immediately upon returning to the Netherlands.
The employee who consciously chooses to go on holiday to a country with code orange therefore knows that he will have to be quarantined after returning. If the employee is unable to work from home, he will be unable to perform his duties for two weeks. We believe that it can be said that this situation lies within the employee's sphere of risk. We advise employers to inform the employee (if the holiday destination is known) in advance that during the quarantine period he is not entitled to wages if he is unable to perform his work. Employees who are able to work from home (and probably have done so recently) are entitled to wages during a period of quarantine.
Can an employer ask an employee if he plans to go to an area with a code orange area, or on return whether the employee has been in a code orange area? That is allowed. The employer has an interest in that information in connection with the duty of care for the employee in question, for the other employees and for any visitors (customers / patients) of the company.
As stopping wages is a heavy measure, we advise employers to inform their employees in advance (for example via a travel protocol) in writing of the consequences that the employer wants to attach to going on holiday to a country with code orange if the employee is consequent cannot perform his work.
Code yellow means that there are security risks in this country or region that differ from what we are used to in the Netherlands. However, an employee can, without prejudice to the local rules, go on holiday to a country with code yellow. Since June 15, 2020, most European countries have a yellow travel advice.
If the situation changes during the employee's holiday; for example, code yellow becomes code orange, so that the employee still has to be quarantined after return, this will probably not be in the employee's sphere of risk. Travel to those countries is justified. That could be different if it was expected in advance that the code would change from yellow to orange.
There are no special security risks with code green and you can travel to that country without any problems.
It is important that it is clear to employees in advance what the consequences may be of traveling abroad in corona time. Do you have any further questions or would you like to draw up a travel protocol? Please do not hesitate to contact us.
06-07-2020Does the employee have a right to working from home in connection with Covid-19?
Many companies let their employees work from home as much as possible in recent weeks in connection with the corona crisis. Employees are slowly returning to the office now that the virus seems to be under control. Companies will have to ensure that work in the office can be carried out in a safe manner and must therefore take measures to prevent the spread of the virus at work as much as possible. Suppose the employee does not like to return to the office. Can he or she refuse to go back to the office, given the applicability of Dutch employment law? In a case that was brought before the Gelderland District Court, the judge ruled on June 16, 2020 that this was not allowed.
18-05-2020Remarkable Supreme Court decision: Employers be alert to your employee's request to change employment
This so-called Victoria ruling of the Supreme Court of 21 February 2020 can have far-reaching consequences for employers who are confronted with a request from their employee to change the employment contract to work fewer hours (based on the Flexible Working Act) or another change proposal that they must reasonably accept as a good employer. Such a request can, under certain conditions, lead to a partial transition payment. Employers must be prepared for such a request to be made in termination proceedings, so that the employee will remain employed if the request is honored by a judge, even with a full dismissal ground. The Supreme Court thus strengthens the position of the employee.
08-05-2020Change NOW: application for individual operating company under conditions possible
On 1 May 2020, the next change to the NOW was announced and finalized. The group provision has been relaxed, in that operating companies can now also apply for NOW separately if the group's loss of turnover is less than 20%.
09-04-2020Amendments to the Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging for Work Retention Regulation (‘NOW’)
The NOW regulation, which was announced on March 31, has already changed in a few areas. This mainly concerns an extra test when submitting a dismissal application for business reasons during the NOW period and a change in the way in which the fine that applies is calculated. In this blog we inform you about the changes.
18-03-2020Dutch measures with regard to labor costs related to COVID-19
The Minister of Social Affairs announced on March 17, 2020 that employers can apply for a compensation of wage costs if they expect at least a 20% loss of turnover due to the Corona crisis. This compensation scheme, the Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging for Work Retention (NOW), temporarily replaces the current reduction in working hours regulation that has expired immediately.
Although the scheme has yet to be worked out in detail - which is expected to happen within the next two weeks - the following is known:
10-03-2020Corona virus and employment law – an overview for Dutch employers
The so-called Corona virus (COVID-19) has also reached the Netherlands. Worldwide measures are being taken to prevent further spread of the virus. What does this mean for local employers and employees? This article answers questions about the obligation of the employer to prevent contamination, the entitlement to salary (whether or not in quarantine), privacy aspects and the Dutch subsidy arrangement on shortening of working hours (“Werktijdverkorting”).