Toolkit Dutch Employment Law

dhr. Alain Camonier


The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, but nevertheless is Dutch Employment law a kind of its own. It is hard to explain to non-Dutch citizens that it is impossible to dismiss an employee without having started a formal proceeding with the Labour Office (UWV WERKbedrijf) or the Court. Further the Netherlands is the only country in the world where an employer is mandatory obliged to pay out the salary of an ill employee for two consecutive years.

The above are mere examples of strict rules and regulations which make Dutch employment law complicated and unique. Dutch employment law provides employers a certain level of flexibility, where it provides employees a certain level of protection. For this reason Dutch employment law is also referred to as the Flexibility and Security Act. In addition also the Netherlands has implemented the European Union directives into the national legislation and more than 75% of all employees are working under an collective bargaining agreement.

Further, employers having more than 50 employees are obliged to establish a works council, an employee’s representative body which has consultation and approval rights. The conclusion can only be that Dutch employment law is very challenging for everyone who has to deal with it, both from a professional and private perspective.

Both authors have more than 10 years of experience in the practice Dutch employment law. As attorneys and professional litigators the interests of employers and employees are their daily work. In their practice the authors noticed that little information on Dutch employment law is available in English language. Thus the idea to write this Toolkit Dutch Employment Law arose. With the Toolkit Dutch Employment Law the authors hope to have written a concise introduction to Dutch employment law, which can be used by English speaking professionals and employees alike.

Alain Camonier and Marcel de Vries are founders and joint owners of Pallas Attorneys at Law, an Amsterdam law firm specialized in employment law.

They both specialize in international employment law and in their practice they litigate and provide professional advice on the various aspects of employment law. Both authors published various articles on the subject employment law in e.g. daily newspapers and professional employment law literature.

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