Employees are entitled to receive information about their employment conditions. Which information does this concern? When and how does the employee have to receive this information?
By Jan Dop and Priscilla de Leede
Law prescribes which basic information the employer has to give the employee about the employment contract and in which way this must be done. Please note: The obligation to provide information also applies to employment contracts with bogus self-employed persons. Thus, you may find that even in the case of a contract for services, this information must be provided to the contractor.
Most obligations have been included in Book 7, Article 655 (1) of the Dutch Civil Code. According to this list, the employer needs to provide at least the following information:
- Name and address of employer and employee.
- The place or places where the employee performs his/her work.
- The position of the employee or a job description.
- The date on which the employment contract commences.
- In a fixed-term agreement: the duration of the agreement.
- The number of holidays or the way in which they are calculated.
- The notice period or the way in which it is calculated.
- The remuneration and the period of payment. In case of a piece wage:
- The quantity the employee has to offer per day or week,
- The price per unit, and
- The time that is reasonably necessary for the performance of a unit.
- The usual working period per day or week.
- Whether the employee will take part in a pension scheme.
- If the employee is to work abroad for more than one month:
- The duration of the work,
- The accommodation,
- If the employee falls under the Dutch social security legislation or a specification of the bodies responsible to administer this legislation,
- The currency in which the wages will be paid,
- The allowances to which the employee is entitled, and
- The arrangement of the employee’s return.
- Whether the employment contract falls under a collective labour agreement or another scheme. In case the Waadi Act is applicable, this must also be stated.
- Whether there is an agency work employment contract or a payroll contract.
- Whether the employment contract is for an indefinite time.
- Whether there is an on-call contract.
In addition to this list, other information must be provided. For example, under the Pension Act, the employee is entitled to information about the content of the pension scheme. Starting from 1 August 2022, a new European regulation will further expand the obligations of the employer.
In writing or electronically
The employer can provide the information in writing or electronically. The electronical provision of information is only allowed if the employee agrees to it. If points a-j, n and o have been included in the employment contract or the pay slip, the employer does not have to provide them separately again. This also applies to points f-i if they have been included in the collective agreement referred to in the employment contract.
Deadline for providing information
The employer has to provide this information within one month of the commencement of the work. If the employment contract has been concluded for less than a month, the information must be provided before the termination of the employment. If the employee will be working in a foreign country, the information from part k must be provided before the departure. Changes have to be communicated to the employee within one month of becoming effective.
If housekeeping staff is involved who work for an individual for less than four days per week, the employer only has to provide this information upon request.
Penalty on breach of obligation to provide information
There is no penalty for violation of the obligation to provide information. However, the employer is liable for damage the employee suffers because the employer did not comply with the obligation to provide information, for example, by providing incomplete or incorrect information. Here, you can consider, for example, the loss of holidays or a contractual penalty the employee must pay because paid childcare turns out to be unnecessary after all. Arrangements that the employer does not need to comply with parts of the obligation to provide information are void.
For additional information:
Jan Dop, partner
Priscilla de Leede, lawyer