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Workshop / Course Dutch Labour Law & HRM


This course or workshop is the open subscription version of a one day workshop attended by employees of multinational companies operating in the Netherlands, such as Motorola, Applied Materials, Sony, KLM, Shell and Aramco Overseas company. Before and during the course participants may send in or bring up current or closed practical cases for discussion purposes. During the course, reference will be made to best practices of relevant other (multinational) companies. 

Who should attend?

Dutch Labour Law & HRM is a workshop in English for HR-professionals and Managers.

Workshop / Course Content

  • What is so different about Dutch employment law? Sensitive issues in Dutch labour relations –and tips how to act
  • An overview of the employment law framework in The Netherlands
  • Flexibility in contracts of employment; definite or indefinite terms; on call contracts
  • Restrictive covenants (e.g. non-competition, non-disclosure)
  • Day to day employee management, working time, benefits, leave
  • Managing (non-) performance –highlights of the Performance Plan
  • Discipline and grievances: how to deal with non-compliant behaviour of employee
  • Right to privacy, equal treatment/ discrimination / harassment
  • Labour conflicts and sickness: role of HR, company doctor, government agency UWV and manager
  • Heightened exposure to financial claims related to sickness of ex-temp staff
  • Ways of terminating employment, via court, government agency UWV
  • Causes for termination: economic (headcount reduction or reorganization / performance / sickness & calculating severance pay
  • Legal proceedings: filing & court costs
  • Termination Agreements
  • Practical tips for file-building: what managers should (not) do
  • Works Council / Staff representation stipulations in Dutch law
  • Reorganization, takeover and merger: how to conduct them / what are the rules?
  • Developments with respect to the changed laws of dismissal and flexible contracts severance pay, limited telework rights of employees.


Programme 10.00-17.00 hrs

 10:00 An overview of the employment law framework in The Netherlands

- Introduction of participants and their current and/or expected HR- and labour law dilemmas & cases.

- Setting the scene: The Netherlands' labour market and legal framework.

- What is so different about Dutch employment law? Comparisons of Dutch employment law with labour law of anglo-saxon and continental European labour law systems.

- Sensitive issues in Dutch labour relations

- Current trends and developments.

11:00-11:15 break

11:15 Hiring employees, contracts of employment, benefits, leave

- Flexibility in contracts of employment; definite or indefinite terms; on call contracts, with due regard for the  do's and don'ts when interviewing

- The 'do's and don'ts' when discussing desired changes in terms and conditions of employment

- An update on sick pay, reintegration efforts during illness, holiday entitlement and other typical contractual benefits, including pension schemes, with due regard for the company's sickness procedure and outline of roles/responsibilities with regard to the relevant Dutch, regulatory framework of the ‘WVP' and practicalities such as the timing of direct telephone contact and which questions (not) to ask.

- Parental leave, special leave & sabbaticals.

-Restrictive covenants (e.g. non-competition, non-disclosure)


12:00-12:45 Lunch break


12:45 Day to day employee management

- Working time.

- Absence and non-performance issues: requirements of a performance improvement plan – division of roles between employee, manager and HR.

- Reintegration efforts of employer (manager, HR) and employee during illness.

- Right to privacy.

- Equal treatment/discrimination/harassment.

- Discipline and grievances: how to deal with non-compliant behaviour of employees +illustration of importance to always consult with HR before doing anything.


14:00-14:15 break 


14:15 Managing (non-) performance, labour conflicts & Sickness issues 

- All practicalities involving a performance improvement plan.

- Labour conflicts: role of HR, company doctor, UWV and manager.

- Sickness issues: role of HR, company doctor, UWV and manager.

- Practical tips for file-building: what managers should (not) do.

- Involvement of lawyers.

15:00-15:15 short break 


15:15  Termination of employment

- Ways of terminating employment, via court, government agency UWV.

- Termination Agreements – what managers should know.

- Causes fortermination: economic (headcount reduction or reorganization / performance / sickness)

- Legal proceedings: filing & court costs.

- Urgent dismissal criteria.

- Suspension with & without pay.

- Warnings: how many and for same/different reasons? Importance of prior consultation with HR.

- Protection from dismissal.

- Calculating severance pay – what managers should know.


16:30 What's on the horizon? 

- Developments with respect to severance pay, limited telework rights of employees and dismissal law.

- Future developments in labour law.


17:00 End of program 

During the program, cross-references might be made by the course leader, the in-house-legal counsel and the HR-manager(s) present to the HRM-framework and policies, as well as to the labour law of some other countries relevant to the company, as deemed useful. 

The start and end times are indicative only, to allow maximum interactivity and emphasis on the desired topics.


Trainer: Mr. drs. Arthur E. Hol (LLM)

Arthur is a Partner at the Amsterdam-based law firm De Koning Vergouwen, specializing in Employment Law, is a Partner at ‘Nieuw Organiseren’ and programme director at Governance University. He is a former international HR Manager at Royal Dutch Shell and KLM.  He holds university degrees in both Law and organizational psychology. This background enables Arthur to make this workshop very practical, taking different business angles into account, as well as interactive (prior to the workshop session, participants will be invited to submit cases for discussion purposes). During this course, insights will be given into the best practices of relevant multinational companies.


Workshop / Course fee

The fee for the workshop / course, including a reader and personal intake is € 795,- excl. VAT. In the case your branche-, professional or network organisation has a cooperation agreement with us, you are entitled to a discount.


Dates and location for this workshop / course

25 September 2018, Utrecht, Social Impact Factory

6 November 2018, Utrecht, Social Impact Factory

Location: Utrecht, Vredenburg 40 at Social Impact Factory -within 2 minutes walking distance of Utrecht Central Station

Note: this workshop can also be tailor made in order to fit your specific company requirements.






I Just wanted to send you a quick note on behalf of myself and the Benelux HR team thanking you for both a very informative and participative training session, and really great hospitality this week - the way you also managed to fix the weather for us was quite remarkable.

As discussed, I think the session backed up some areas that we were relatively clear on, but also helped us learn a little more about other aspects that were new to us. I think the team felt more confident having spent the time with you, and although too late now, I do wish we had done the training earlier! 

It would seem that although there are absolutely legal complexities in Holland, myself/the HR team and the management team, have to continue to work on what is 'reasonable' - 'common sense' - 'compromise' etc as well as working really hard to foster the right employee environment which is open and collaborative and transparent. All of this is definitely easier said than done, but if we put the energy in up front, use the processes we have in place (Values, Leadership Behaviours etc) it will be so much more productive than external litigation/internal grievances etc etc. On your website you state:- "Often the strictly legal approach is not at all adequate. In a labour dispute it is just not enough that a file is properly set up, often it is also a matter of good employer attitude, the setting up of improvement paths, encouraging the dialogue, making use of the personal effort, or the image." 

I totally agree and that was very apparent and refreshing in your session - as an HR team, we absolutely need to know the law, but then we absolutely need to know how to translate the law into something that is commercially practical and workable - you had some really good ideas with 2 of the specific issues we are handling today and I will take you up on your offer to discuss this further in the near future as both topics are potentially quite 'big' for us and very 'grey' in the approach of legal versus practical versus employee engagement etc. 

Again, I am also appreciative that you have offered to be a sounding board regarding ad hoc issues! 

We thoroughly enjoyed the 'Hub' - great idea to meet like minded people in such a relaxed yet trendy environment. 

So in summary, thank you again for a great training, hospitality and offer of future assistance. Kind regards.