Important Changes to The Work and Security Act (Wet Werk en Zekerheid)

The most important changes and the consequences for the employer as of January 01, 2015

  • Terminating a temporary employment contract
    A notification period is to be introduced. This means that for temporary employment contracts of six months or more the employer must make it clear in writing at least one month prior to the end date whether or not the contract shall be extended. In the event of noncompliance, compensation is payable by the employer to the employee equal to the employee's salary for one month, with proportional compensation being payable on a pro rata basis in the event of noncompliance within the stipulated period.
    Consequences:
    - The employer shall in reality have to decide a month earlier on whether or not
      to extend an employment contract.
    - The employer must be aware of the obligation to provide notification, and would
      be wise to diarize the notification period.
    - Noncompliance will mean that the labor costs increase

 

  • Trial period in a temporary employment contract
    A trial period cannot be included in a temporary employment contract for a period of six months or less.
    Consequences:
    - There will be less incentive for the employer to conclude short-term employment
      contracts.
    - A choice will have to be made between a temporary employment contract for
      a period longer than six months with a trial period and a temporary employment
      contract for a period of less than six months without a trial period.
  • A non-compete clause in temporary employment contract
    As a general rule, a non-compete clause can only be included in an employment contract for an indefinite period. In a fixed-term employment contract a non-compete clause will only be valid if it is evident from the written justification that such a clause is necessary due to compelling business interests.
    Consequences:
    - It will be difficult for an employer to include a valid non-compete clause in a temporary employment contract.
    - What compelling business interests will be understood to mean, and the written justification considered to be adequate therefore, will ultimately have to be settled by case law. Until that time it remains uncertain whether a non-compete clause can be upheld in a temporary employment contract.
  • Transitional law
    Employment contracts concluded before January 01, 2015, retain their legal force. The determining factor here is the date upon which the employment contract was concluded and not the day upon which it takes effect. There is however one exception to this rule: the obligation to provide notification takes immediate effect and consequently also pertains to fixed-term employment contracts that were concluded prior to January 01, 2015. Given that this means that a penalty for providing notification too late could already be immediately payable on January 01, 2015, it has been determined that such a penalty will only be payable from February 01, 2015, onwards. Keep in mind that special transitional regulations could apply to collective bargaining agreement provisions.
  • Contraventions
    Contravention of the above regulations will lead to the subdistrict court judge nullifying or quashing the provision concerned and, in some cases, to compensation being required for the employee.
  • Further Changes
    As of July 01, 2015, further changes with respect to employment law will be implemented. Employment termination law will, among others, comprehensively change and the transition compensation will be introduced. You can find a more extensive overview of future changes here..

More info.

 

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