Home Diplomatic Pouch Empowering Internationals: Insights from Legal Expert Godelijn Boonman

Empowering Internationals: Insights from Legal Expert Godelijn Boonman

Godelijn Boonman

Godelijn Boonman, with over 30 years of legal expertise, is a senior partner at GMW lawyers in The Hague. She specializes in employment law, offering guidance to both businesses, organisations and internationals. Born in Kenya and raised in an English-speaking setting, her diverse background formed and forms her approach to law. GMW lawyers, a full-service law firm of 35 specialists, celebrating 35 years of service, is renowned for its commitment to clients both in the Netherlands and abroad.

As an employment law attorney with a focus on internationals, what unique challenges do your clients face in the Netherlands?
They often face challenges related to understanding the nuances of Dutch employment law, which can differ significantly from their home countries. Dutch law protects employees to a great extent, be it  dismissal or during periods of illness. Issues such as employment contracts, termination procedures, and employee rights can be complex. Additionally, cultural differences in workplace norms and expectations can lead to misunderstandings without proper guidance.

Having been born in Kenya and raised in Kenia and the UK, how has your multicultural background influenced your legal practice?

Growing up abroad has given me a broader perspective on cultural sensitivities and communication styles. This background allows me to connect with clients from diverse backgrounds and to navigate cross-cultural legal communications more effectively. Being an international myself, I decided to focus on an international practice within our firm In a time when many law firms did not yet do so. Our firm now assists both internationals and international companies on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to expats navigating Dutch employment law for the first time?
For expats and businesses encountering Dutch employment law for the first time, I would advise seeking legal counsel early on. Understanding your rights and obligations, as well as the expectations of Dutch employers, is crucial. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the terms of your employment contract and to be aware of the legal protections available to you in the Netherlands. At GMW lawyers, we are adept at doing just this.

If you need advice in employment law or other legal matters, please contact GMW lawyers in The Hague. We can work it out.

GMW lawyers • gmw.nl
Scheveningseweg 52
2517 KW Den Haag
E-mail: info@gmw.nl

Web link: GMW lawyers
Telephone: +31 (0)70 3615048

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