Working irregular hours? New employment law brings more rights


New European labour regulations come into effect in the Netherlands on Monday, allowing staff to follow a training course in the boss’s time and better regulating working hours.

The rules also stop employers from banning workers from taking up a second employment contract or doing voluntary work, with the aim of making it easier to combine different jobs.

Employers will, however, still be able to stop staff taking up a second job if it would mean they broke restrictions on working hours, by working nights after a full day, for example.

The new regulations also toughen up current Dutch rules on permanent contracts and flexible working hours, giving workers more rights to ask for change.

For example, a driver could have a part time contract for 20 hours a week and be required to be available all five days, Michelle Vrolijk of Vallenduuk Transport Advocaten told broadcaster NOS. The driver could now ask for a change in that situation, and although the employer does not have to agree, they do have to provide proper reasoning why not, she said.

Employers will also no longer be able to claim refunds for training courses which a worker needs to take to do their job, should they quit the company early. They will also have to pay workers while they are taking classes.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation