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Changes in employment law

As of 1 January 2015, important changes to employment law have been implemented. For example, the Work and Security Act came into force, as did the Act on Modernization of Arrangements for Leave and Working Hours. Below an overview of the measures.

Work and Security Act
Changes as of 1 January 2015
These changes mainly relate to temporary employment contracts. This concerns matters such as probationary period clause, non-compete clause, temporary employment clause, continued payment obligation and notice period.
Probation
The possibility of stipulating a probationary period in an employment contract has lapsed for contracts with a maximum duration of six months. For employment contracts with a duration of six months to a maximum of two years, a probationary period may be agreed, provided that this period does not exceed one month. The probation period may be a maximum of two months if the employment contract has been entered into for two years or longer or for an indefinite period.

Competition clause
A non-compete clause restricts the employee in his free choice for another employer. With effect from 1 January 2015, the possibility to include a non-competition clause in fixed-term contracts has in principle expired. Only in special cases is a non-competition clause still permitted.

Temporary work
The law offers the possibility to terminate the agreement between the employment agency and temporary agency worker by law if the hirer does not wish to make any use of the services of the temporary agency worker any more. This option only applies to the first 26 weeks in which the temporary worker works for the employment agency. This temporary employment clause can no longer be stretched indefinitely as of 1 January 2015. The temporary employment clause can be valid for a maximum of 78 weeks.

Call contracts
An employer does not have to pay wages if an employee does not perform work. If an employee is unable to perform his work due to a cause that is at the expense of the employer, the employee will still be entitled to wages. The right to continued payment of salary can be excluded from the employment contract for the first six months. The possibility to exclude the obligation to continue payment of wages under the collective labor agreement has expired on 1 January 2015.

Notice period
An employment contract for a definite period of time ends in principle by operation of law by the expiration of this specific time. Unless otherwise agreed, cancellation or notification is not required now. The employer must notify in writing at least one month before the end of temporary contracts of 26 weeks or longer whether and under what conditions he wishes to continue the employment contract with the employee. The employer who does not comply with this must pay one gross monthly salary.

TIP: Make a 25 weeks agreement

Changes as of July 1, 2015
The dismissal law will change as from 1 July 2015. The current choice between the judge and the UWV then expires. There is also a change in the number of severance payments. Furthermore, the chain arrangement for subsequent contracts for a definite period changes on that date.
Chain control
Currently, a maximum of three consecutive fixed-term employment contracts with a total maximum duration of 36 months may be entered into. If the total duration exceeds the 36-month period or a fourth temporary contract is offered, the last contract is considered to be an indefinite contract. A period of three months between two employment contracts interrupts the chain. As of 1 July 2015, the maximum period of successive contracts is only 24 months. Then there are subsequent contracts if the intervening time is no longer than six months. As a result, an employment contract for an indefinite period of time arises much faster than now.
Dismissal via subdistrict court or UWV?
From 1 July 2015, the dismissal ground determines whether an employer should request dismissal from the UWV or the subdistrict court. The route runs via the UWV for dismissal for business reasons or because of long-term incapacity for work. Dismissal due to malfunctioning or culpable actions of the employee or due to a disturbed employment relationship is assessed by the subdistrict court.
Dismissal with the consent of the employee
Permission from the UWV or dissolution by the subdistrict court is not necessary if the employee agrees to the dismissal. This must be apparent from a written statement from the employee. The employee has a cooling-off period of two weeks to withdraw his consent. He does not have to give a reason for this. Through the conclusion of a termination agreement, the parties can terminate an employment contract by mutual consent. In that case, the cooling-off period for the employee also applies. The employer must inform the employee within two working days that he has two weeks’ reflection time.

Changes as of July 1, 2015
The dismissal law will change as from 1 July 2015. The current choice between the judge and the UWV then expires. There is also a change in the number of severance payments. Furthermore, the chain arrangement for subsequent contracts for a definite period changes on that date.
Chain control
Currently, a maximum of three consecutive fixed-term employment contracts with a total maximum duration of 36 months may be entered into. If the total duration exceeds the 36-month period or a fourth temporary contract is offered, the last contract is considered to be an indefinite contract. A period of three months between two employment contracts interrupts the chain. As of 1 July 2015, the maximum period of successive contracts is only 24 months. Then there are subsequent contracts if the intervening time is no longer than six months. As a result, an employment contract for an indefinite period of time arises much faster than now.
Dismissal via subdistrict court or UWV?
From 1 July 2015, the dismissal ground determines whether an employer should request dismissal from the UWV or the subdistrict court. The route runs via the UWV for dismissal for business reasons or because of long-term incapacity for work. Dismissal due to malfunctioning or culpable actions of the employee or due to a disturbed employment relationship is assessed by the subdistrict court.
Dismissal with the consent of the employee
Permission from the UWV or dissolution by the subdistrict court is not necessary if the employee agrees to the dismissal. This must be apparent from a written statement from the employee. The employee has a cooling-off period of two weeks to withdraw his consent. He does not have to give a reason for this. Through the conclusion of a termination agreement, the parties can terminate an employment contract by mutual consent. In that case, the cooling-off period for the employee also applies. The employer must inform the employee within two working days that he has two weeks’ reflection time.

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