Under current Dutch civil law, training of employees is already regulated in Article 7:611a of the Dutch Civil Code. This provision stipulates that the employer shall enable the employee to follow training that is necessary for the performance of his position and, insofar as this can reasonably be required of the employee, for the continuation of the employment contract if the employee’s position lapses or if he is no longer able to fulfill it.
The current training obligation therefore has two effects. Firstly, the employer is obliged to provide the training necessary for the performance of the position. Secondly, the employer is obliged to offer training if the employee’s position lapses or if the employee is no longer able to fulfill his position.
New rules mandatory training
The Directive prescribes that, as of 1 August 2022, as regards training which employers are required to provide the following applies:
- the training must be offered to the employee free of charge, all costs are at the expense of the employer;
- the training is regarded as working time and where possible takes place during working hours;
- any clause on the basis of which the costs for mandatory training are payable by the employee (directly or via set-off) shall be null and void.
Mandatory training is described as training that an employer is obliged to offer to employees by Union or national law or by collective agreements, in order to perform the work for which the employee has been hired.
Rules of non-compulsory training
The new rules as described do not apply to non-mandatory training. A study costs clause can still be agreed for such education and training. The study costs clause must then meet the requirements laid down case law:
- the employee has to be informed about the consequences of the study costs clause and conditions of (partial or otherwise) repayment of training;
- the study costs clause shall include the period from which the employer is deemed to benefit from the employee’s increased knowledge and/or skills, this period also determines the period of the repayment obligation;
- Finally, the repayment scheme must contain a sliding scale, meaning that an employee’s repayment obligation should decrease as the employment contract continues.