This is part 4 of a series of whitepapers from BUREN. In this fourth part we will elaborate on the form and legal requirements for employment agreements under Dutch law.
Key elements Dutch employment agreement
Under Dutch law, if the three conditions for an employment agreement are met - (i) the (personal) performance of services (ii) under the authority of the company, (iii) in return for remuneration - in principle an employment agreement is deemed to exist.
Orally or in writing?
An employment agreement can be concluded orally or in writing. However, to avoid evidence issues, it is highly advisable to enter into a written agreement with employees. A collective labour agreement (if applicable) may determine that the employment agreement, or certain provisions, must be agreed upon in writing. Moreover, under Dutch law, certain provisions are valid only if concluded in writing:
Even though an employment agreement can be concluded orally, the employer must provide the employee with certain information in writing within one month after the commencement of the employment agreement, including (but not limited to): the name and domicile of both parties, the work location, the position of the employee, if the employment agreement is entered into for a fixed term: the duration of the agreement, the entitlement to holiday, the amount of wages and the usual working hours per week, whether or not the employee will take part in a pension scheme (article 7:655 of the Dutch Civil Code). This entails many aspects of an employment agreement and encourages the drafting of an employment agreement.
It is not mandatory to provide the employee with an employment agreement in Dutch under Dutch law - in fact, it is common practice to enter into employment agreements in English in international employment relationships. However, it is advisable to verify whether the employee fully understands the terms of employment. In case of doubt, it would be advisable to provide a translation.
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BUREN Basics Part 1 | Types of contracts under Dutch law
Also read the first part of the series. This part examines the different types of employment contracts under Dutch law.
BUREN Basics Part 2 | The Dutch pension system
Also read the second part of the series. This part examines The Dutch pension system.
BUREN Basics Employment Part 3 | Termination of employment contracts under Dutch law
Also read the third part of the series. This part examines the Termination of employment contracts under Dutch law
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