In our blog from earlier this year, we discussed in detail the Act implementation EU-directive on transparent and predictable working conditions (Wet implementatie EU-richtlijn transparante en voorspelbare arbeidsvoorwaarden) and the related obligations. In the meantime, this Act has been in force for a month. Now that the summer holidays have come to an end for most of you, it is good to reflect on the most important obligations and what you should do as an employer as a result of this Act.
The new Act
Among others, the new Act (i) requires the employer to provide more information to the employee, (ii) obliges the employer to offer studies or trainings without charging the employee and (iii) limits the employer in enforcing an agreed ancillary activities clause.
Extending the information to be provided
The following information must be provided in writing to the employee in (or accompanied with) employment contracts entered on or after 1 August 2022:
- That the employee performs the work at different places or is free to determine the workplace (if the work is not performed at a (mainly) fixed place).
- Types of paid leave to which the employee is entitled.
- Reference to the statutory legal procedures in case of dismissal.
- The wage including the initial amount, separate components thereof and the manner and frequency of payment.
- In the case of a probationary period: its duration and conditions.
- The offered right to studies/trainings (if applicable).
- In the case of a wholly or largely predictable work pattern: 1) the duration of normal daily or weekly working hours and arrangements for working outside normal daily or weekly working hours, 2) the wages payable in respect thereof and 3) (if applicable) arrangements relating to changing shifts.
- In the case of a wholly or largely unpredictable work pattern: 1) that the hours when work should be performed are variable, the number of paid hours that are guaranteed and the payment for the hours in excess of the guaranteed hours and 2) the days and hours when the employee may be required to perform work.
Study costs clause not always valid
The main rule is that a study costs clause, pursuant to which an employee should repay study costs under certain circumstances, may not be agreed upon for studies/courses that must be provided for under Dutch legislation or under a collective bargaining agreement. This does not include the obligation of an employee to follow certain studies or training courses in order to obtain, maintain or renew a professional qualification (such as a doctor). In addition, in this case the employee must be given the opportunity to follow the study or training during working hours (as far as ‘reasonably’ possible).
Restriction on invoking an ancillary activities clause
An employer may only hold an employee to an agreed ancillary activities clause if the employer has an ‘objective justification’ for doing so. This could be for example health and safety, protecting the confidentiality of business information or avoiding conflicts of interest.
Would you like to know more about these changes or do you need to have your employment contract amended in accordance with the recent law changes? Please contact Jaouad Seghrouchni, attorney-at-law at our Employment, Employee Participation and Pensions department.