1. Working conditions directive
The directive must be implemented by 1 August 2022 at the latest and inter alia includes:
1) If training is compulsory, the employee must be able to follow the training during working hours and at the employer’s expense. A study costs pay back clause is no longer permitted.
2) A ban on ancillary activities is no longer allowed unless there is an objective justification for it.
2. Paid parental leave
As of 2 August 2022, employees are entitled to (partially) paid parental leave of nine weeks in the first year after the birth or adoption of their child. The employer applies for the benefit at the UWV.
3. Home working allowance
As of 1 January this year, an employer may provide a tax-free allowance of up to EUR 2 per day to employees (partly) working from home.
4. Work-related costs scheme (in Dutch abbreviated as ‘WKR’)
The free margin for the fiscal wage up to and including EUR 400,000 has been reduced to 1.7% as of 1 January 2022. Above EUR 400,000 the margin is unchanged (1.18% of the wage bill).
5. Smoking areas at work forbidden
Since 1 January this year, all workplaces must be completely smoke-free; smoking areas are no longer allowed at work.
Compulsory corona self-test at work
The court in Amsterdam recently considered, in summary proceedings, whether an employee could be required to take a weekly COVID self-test and to inform his employer in case the result would be positive. The employee in question, who was not vaccinated and worked as a dancer in a theater, refused to comply because he felt this would violate his privacy. The employee was eventually suspended by his employer and his salary payment was ended because the employee could not perform alternative work and the employer saw no other possibility for guaranteeing a safe working environment in the given situation. The employee started summary proceedings claiming a resumption of his work and continuation of his wage payment. However, the court found that in this case the employer’s duty to safeguard a healthy and sound working environment outweighed the privacy of the employee. Click here for the full court ruling.