By Roy Lie Atjam
Russell Advocaten, a corporate full-service law firm in Amsterdam, and Diplomat Magazine organized their annual seminar-workshop for embassies and consulates. The law firm has decades of experience in dealing with legal queries of embassies. This time around the seminar was held in The Hague on 7 November 2022.
The diplomatic community turned out in their numbers. Some Ambassadors had chosen to attend the seminar themself.
Topics discussed by the Embassy Desk specialists, Jan Dop, Head of the Embassy Desk, Priscilla de Leede, specialist in Employment Law and Reinier W.L. Russell, Managing Partner at Russell Advocaten were:
- Employee illness
- Labour law and dismissal in the Netherlands
- Personnel handbook/code of conduct
- Employee participation/Works council
These topics are of significant importance to diplomatic mission. Utilizing practical illustrations and cases presented by the audience, the specialist lawyers of Russell Advocaten passed on valuable information.
Conclusion: Dutch labour law is applicable to Embassies in the Netherlands.
A. Employee illness
• Comply with obligations regarding sick employees → a.o. involving the Arbo/company doctor
• Financial sanctions in case of non-compliance
• In principle, no dismissal of a sick employee during the first 2 years of illness
B. Dismissal law
• Reasonable ground required for a dismissal. Please note: transition compensation + fair compensation
• In general, sending States cannot invoke immunity in civil proceedings before the Dutch court → only immunity
regarding the enforcement of judgements of the Dutch court (seizure)
C. Personnel handbook / Code of conduct
• Collective rules with which employees must comply, for example regarding work clothes, rules on reporting sick etc.
• Proof for employers in dismissal proceedings
D. Employee participation / Works council
• Mandatory for large Embassies (and companies)
• Specific statutory rights.
Those registered for the seminar will receive a link to the presentation. This seminar about the Dutch employment law, specifically the rules regarding dismissal and illness of local staff, was by all means a great success. Participants listened attentively, hardly anyone left during the break.