Dutch to bring in single-tier boards

The justice ministry has drawn up draft legislation which would give Dutch companies the option of using a single-tier board system, in line with common practice in the UK and US.

At the moment Dutch firms have a two-tier system – a management board led by the director and a supervisory board to appoint management board members and control its actions.
Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin hopes giving the green light to single-tier boards will make Dutch firms more attractive internationally. Currently only companies created from mergers with foreign firms have a single board, such as Reed Elsevier, Shell, Unilever and Fortis. KPN has also considered a single board set up
Interested parties have until May 31 to comment on the plans.
In addition, Hirsch Ballin is considering introducing changes to the legal status of top managers which would cut their pay-outs when sacked, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Tuesday. At the moment CEOs are not only in charge of a company, but also employed by it, meaning they can claim compensation twice over if they lose their jobs.

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