Welcome to Penrose Employment Law
Penrose is specialised in the field of Employment law in the Netherlands. Our broad employment law practice deals with employers, directors, works councils and employees faced by issues ranging from terms of employment, dismissal procedures and severance pay after a reorganisation, mergers and acquisitions and decision-making. We also advise on the establishment of, and relations with, works councils. Some of the Dutch employment law issues that we encounter on a daily basis are outlined below.
Introduction to Dutch labour law
For a general introduction to employment law in the Netherlands, we have drafted the e-brochure “Introduction to Dutch Labour Law” that provides a brief overview of the most important rules of Dutch labour law.
The contractual relationship between the employer and employee usually consists of an employment contract. In the employment contract you define the terms and conditions of employment, such as a probationary period, where and when the work will be carried out, the salary and a number of restrictive provisions for the employee, such as a non-solicitation clause, or a clause to protect important company information. There are precise rules on what may and may not be agreed in an employment contract. It is advisable to seek timely legal advice from a Dutch employment lawyer on this subject.
Employees are remunerated for their work. This is done through their salary and can also consist of (non-voting) shares, stock options and bonus schemes. A good remuneration package is important to attracting and retaining employees. Sometimes it is desirable to adjust the remuneration package. Examples include a promotion or if employers merge and harmonize the terms of employment. In that case, many employees apply for legal aid.
Dismissal and severance pay
An employment conflict often results in the termination of the employment relationship. Sometimes an employee is entitled to compensation. Whereas in the past the subdistrict court formula was used to calculate the severance pay in the Netherlands, these days the transition pay system is operated.
An employment contract can be terminated either on the initiative of the employer or the employee. In the event of resignation by an employee, the letter of resignation plays an important legal role. There are various options in the event of dismissal by the employer, depending on the reason for dismissal. To make the right choice between these different options, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a Dutch employment lawyer in good time.
Reorganisation and personnel
Companies change, merge and demerge. Sometimes activities are added, and sometimes an entire department is discontinued due to outsourcing. This usually affects employees. What are the personnel implications? What are the rights of employees in the Netherlands? What are the options for employers? What is the role of the Works Council? To gain a clear image of this, it is crucial for us to know the current case law on these subjects and for you to seek Dutch legal aid in good time.
Sale or outsourcing of business activities
If you buy a business unit through outsourcing, this can have personnel implications. If the activities you take over are carried out by employees, you may (if you don’t make any arrangements) also automatically take over the employees. It is possible that you will inadvertently take over employees under their existing employment conditions. This can turn out well for these employees: they retain their right to work and their employment conditions and can call on the new employer to provide them.
Personnel can have a say in the employer’s company. According to Dutch labour law, if companies have more than 50 employees, they are obliged to establish a co-determination body: a Works Council. As well as the right to information, the Works Council has a say and may advise on certain company decisions. Building a good relationship and providing information and legal advice on time can prevent delays in the execution of decisions and legal proceedings.