The information obligation of employers is laid down in Article 7:655 of the Dutch Civil Code. The employer’s information obligation towards employees is being tightened up on a number of aspects, whilst being expanded to the matters covered. For example, as of 1 August 2022, employers shall inform employees about all kinds of entitlements to paid leave and not just about the number of vacation days.
This concerns paid leave. Examples of paid leave are birth leave, emergency leave, but also any special leave such as moving days or the marriage of a brother or sister, if this is applicable within the employer’s organization. Employees shall also be informed about the training policy and the applicable rules regarding the termination of the employment contract. Employers shall adjust the employment contracts and/or personnel manuals accordingly.
Term of information obligation
The term within which the employer must provide the information is changed. Previously, this term was one month after commencement of employment. Due to the new law, most data must be communicated within one week after commencement of employment.
The new rules regarding the employer’s obligation to provide information also apply to current employees. The employer does not have to actively approach these employees. However, if these employees invoke the employer’s obligation to provide information, the employer shall provide this information to the employee within one month after receipt of the request.
Furthermore, if the data is changed during the employment, the employee must be informed about the change as soon as possible and at the latest on the day on which the change enters into force.
Way of informing
The information shall be provided to the employee in writing or electronically. However, for providing the information electronically, the employee shall agree to this. When the information is provided electronically, the employee should be able to save and print the information and the information shall remain accessible for later reference. The employer must provide proof that the information obligation has been complied with.
If an employer does not comply with the information obligation, the employer can be held liable for the damages suffered by the employee. A well-known example from case law is incorrect information about the number of vacation days, which leads to liability for missing vacation days.
Tip! Check the overview of Article 7:655 of the Dutch Civil Code which aspects of the information obligation have already been met and on which aspects information still needs to be supplemented. Ensure that the employment contract and/or the personnel manual is amended and supplemented before 1 August 2022.