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The Netherlands have excellent social legislation. Everyone is entitled to a minimum wage to live on. If you have no job or you are disabled, you are granted a benefit in the Netherlands. If you have a job, you pay a premium for this system. This way, everyone contributes. Of course, a benefit is subject to certain obligations and conditions.
Extensive legislation exists regarding labour. You could see it as a standardisation of the basic employment conditions, that all employees in the Netherlands benefit from.
The main rules include:
Please note that both the employer and the employee have obligations. In principle, the rule is: no work, no pay. During absence due to illness, the employee must cooperate in quick reintegration. Naturally, an employee must comply with the agreements set out in the employment contract concluded with the employer.
An employee has rights too, of course. For example the right of leave (including parental leave, dependant care leave, emergency leave, and special leave). This is set out in the law. The details are defined in consultation with the employer.
In addition to individual agreements with the employees, collective agreements may be made. Employees are generally represented by the Works Council. Furthermore, the union can monitor the employees’ rights, for example in the event of collective redundancy or large-scale reorganisations.
Unless you are fully-versed in local Dutch regulations, involving an advisor is sensible. Bol International provides various specialists ensuring that international companies provide proper Dutch employership.
A CLA (Collective Labour Agreement) is mandatory only to companies in a sector within which participation is mandatory, or if the employer is a member of an employer organisation that is a signatory to the CLA.
Deviation from CLA provisions may be possible depending on the type of CLA. You may deviate from a minimum CLA if this is to the employee’s benefit. You may not deviate from a standard CLA. CLA’s may be mixed, with provisions that you may or may not deviate from. In some cases, companies are allowed to offer their own employment conditions, provided that these are on the same level as the sector conditions.
No, this is not mandatory, unless the sector has decided otherwise. In some cases, you are allowed to offer an equivalent pension scheme.
However, in the Netherlands, offering employees a pension scheme is customary. The state pensions have decreased in the Netherlands during the past few years and therefore employees are increasingly interested in company schemes.
In principle, the rule is: no work, no pay. Therefore, theoretically, no, then you do not pay.
However, in the event of absence due to illness or leave, you must continue the employee’s pay as set out in the provisions listed above. Even if you do not have enough work to fill the employee’s contractual working hours, you still have to pay the salary. You may not just ask an employee to use up holiday hours in such a case. Not being able to provide enough work is an employer risk in the Netherlands.