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Netherlands: Employee rights

Updating author: Wouter Engelsman and Jasper Hoffstedde, CLINT | Littler

Consultant editor: Maria Benbrahim, Hogan Lovells International LLP

Original authors: Mark Carley and Robbert H. van het Kaar

See the legal services provided by the updating authors of XpertHR International > Netherlands, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • The Government has introduced measures that are relevant for employers and employees in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (See Coronavirus - emergency measures)
  • There are various rules for employees' hours of work, with particular restrictions for night workers. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to minimum rest breaks and rest periods. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • Although generally Sunday is not a working day, Sundays may be worked in certain circumstances. (See Sunday work)
  • There are various rules regarding minimum paid leave for employees and when it may be taken. (See Holidays and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees, new mothers and adoptive parents have various rights. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Qualifying employees may take parental or paternity leave. (See Parental leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take short-term leave to care for a sick child, partner or parent, or long-term leave in the case of a life-threatening illness. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take "force majeure" leave for urgent personal reasons. (See Force majeure leave)
  • Employees with at least six months' service at an employer with at least 10 employees are entitled to ask their employer for an increase or decrease in their working hours. (See Increase or decrease in working hours)
  • Part-time employees have various rights, including not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time employee except where the treatment can be justified. (See Part-time workers)
  • Fixed-term workers have various rights, including not be treated less favourably than a comparable "permanent" employee except where the treatment can be justified. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Temporary agency workers are considered to have an employment relationship with the agency they work for. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • Employment contracts can be concluded between workers and payroll companies. (See Payroll workers)
  • Employers have various obligations in relation to remote workers. (See Remote working)
  • Workers posted to work in the Netherlands from other EEA member states have the protection of all Dutch employment legislation. (See Posted workers)
  • If a business or part of it is transferred to a new owner, its employees also transfer. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • The pay-related entitlements of employees whose employer has become insolvent are protected by the unemployment insurance system. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • Disciplinary procedures can be laid down in a number of ways, including by a contract of employment or collective agreement. (See Disciplinary procedures)
  • There are various rules regarding the processing and use of employees' personal data. (See Data protection)
  • Workers are protected from detriment or dismissal for reporting wrongdoing by their employer under certain conditions. (See Whistleblowing)