van het Kaar, Robbert
30 August 2004
In July 2004, the Dutch government and the VNO-NCW employers' confederation published separate documents calling for a variety of changes to current employment law and industrial relations practices, aimed at improved economic growth and competitiveness. The proposals cover areas such as pay trends, minimum wages, the extension of collective agreements, employee invovlement, working time and social security. While the government and employers have similar views on numerous points, their emphasis differs in some areas. Reactions from the trade union movement to the proposals have been very critical.
03 August 2004
In June 2004, the Dutch government announced that works councils legislation was to be made more flexible and issued proposals for reform, on which the social partners disagree. Changes are also to be made to the rules giving works councils influence over the appointment of members of company supervisory boards. Meanwhile, parliament is debating legislation to implement EU Directives on information and consultation and on employee involvement in the European Company Statute.
29 July 2004
In June 2004, the Dutch Labour Inspectorate published its spring report on collective agreements. The report focuses on a number of issues that are currently highly topical in debate between the government and social partners. It finds that wage increases have fallen away sharply in 2004, while the number of collective agreements containing provisions on flexible remuneration, flexible pensions, reintegration measures for partly disabled employees and employability has increased over recent years.
07 July 2004
In March 2004, the EIRO national centres in 24 European countries were asked, in response to a questionnaire, to give a brief overview of their country's system for dealing with individual labour/employment disputes through the courts, along with data on: the volume of cases; the costs; the timeframe; alternatives to going to court; and any current debate on these issues. The Dutch responses are set out below (along with the questions asked).
03 June 2004
The number of bankruptcies declared in the Netherlands reached a record high in 2003, and questions have been raised in parliament over the potential misuse of bankruptcies to the detriment of creditors and employees. This article looks at recent developments in legislation and case law on employees' rights and position in the event of their employer's bankruptcy.
30 March 2004
Research published in December 2003 finds that most Dutch employers favour the extension of sector-wide collective agreements (ie to cover non-signatory employers within the sector). However, a sizeable minority would expect benefits from switching over to company-level collective agreements. Recently, a growing number of employers seem to be seeking actively to escape their obligations arising from extended sectoral collective agreements, by signing separate agreements with non-mainstream trade unions.
30 March 2004
A central tripartite agreement signed in the Netherlands in autumn 2003 imposes a pay freeze for 2004. This agreement is casting a shadow over the 2004 collective bargaining round, and trade unions are seeking to test the limits of the wage freeze. This article looks at developments in the bargaining round up to March 2004,
08 March 2004
In February 2004, the Netherlands' tripartite Social and Economic Council (SER) issued an opinion, recommending a new system of organising occupation health services in companies. It proposes allowing companies to opt out of using external services, by agreement with trade unions or employee representatives.
01 March 2004
The Dutch government has announced that the statutory minimum wage will not be increased in 2004, following agreement with the social partners on a general pay freeze. This article examines the government decision, as well as looking at related issues such as the effects on social security benefits, minimum wage rates for young people, compliance and the relationship between the statutory minimum wage and the minimum wages specified in collective agreements.
28 October 2003
In October 2003, the Dutch government and social partners agreed on a comprehensive set of measures to confront the current economic recession. One of the key measures is a freeze in collectively agreed wages during 2004 and 2005, in exchange for the government dropping a number of cost-cutting plans. Recent figures from the Labour Inspectorate indicate that pay increases have already slowed considerably in 2003.