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Fixed-term contracts

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions.

The tightening of the regulation regarding successive fixed-term contracts.


By Jan Dop.

Jan Dop, LL.M. is a partner and Head of the Embassy Desk at Russell Advocaten ( More information about the expertise at Russell Advocaten for Embassies, Consulates and Diplomats can be found on our website:


There has been and will be major changes to employment law in the Netherlands in 2015. These changes include strengthening of the legal position of flex workers, reforming dismissal law, and amending the Unemployment Insurance Act. Some of the changes will have serious consequences for the locally hired personnel of Embassies, Consulates and Diplomats. We will discuss these amendments in a series of articles in Diplomat Magazine. The first of these articles dealt with a number of changes to fixed-term employment contracts which became effective on 1 January 2015. This article deals with the tightening of the regulation regarding successive fixed-term contracts (ketenregeling) as of 1 July 2015.

Employment contracts for an indefinite period will arise at an earlier stage

The ketenregeling for employees with fixed-term employment contracts will be tightened so that employees will be entitled to an employment contract for an indefinite period at an earlier stage. In case of fixed-term employment contracts concluded in succession within a period of six months (currently: three), the fourth contract or a period of two years (currently: three) will by operation of law bring about an indefinite employment contract.

Transitory law

The old ketenregeling will remain applicable to fixed-term employment contracts concluded before 1 July 2015 that pass the term of two years after 1 July 2015. In the event a fixed-term employment contract will be concluded on or after 1 July 2015, the new ketenregeling will apply. In that case, the ketenregeling will not apply if the period between the employment agreement concluded on or after 1 July 2015 and the previous employment contract has been longer than six months. Intervals of more than three months between employment contracts concluded before 1 July 2015 will remain valid as an interruption of the regulation regarding successive fixed-term employment contracts.

Our next contribution to Diplomat Magazine will deal with the new mandatory routes for dismissal: subdistrict court and UWV.

Lunch meeting

Russell Advocaten will host a lunch meeting titled “New Dutch Employment Law and your company” on these and other new employment law issues on 16 March 2015. This meeting can be useful for representatives of companies of your home country.


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