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Probationary period no longer allowed in Dutch short-term employment contract as per the 1st of January 2015

Probationary period no longer allowed in Dutch short-term employment contract as per the 1st of January 2015

Probationary periods are no longer allowed in Dutch fixed term employment contracts of up to six months as per the 1st of January 2015.

At the moment it is still allowed to include a probationary period in each fixed term employment contract, regardless of the duration of the contract. Under the current law for fixed term contracts of less than two years it is allowed to include a probationary period of one month. That period may be extended to two months in a CLA. For permanent employment contracts or fixed term contracts of two years and longer it is currently allowed to agree upon a probation period of two months.

Probation period no longer allowed in short-term contracts

As per the 1st of January 2015 it is no longer allowed to agree upon a probation period in fixed term contracts of up to six months. For fixed term contracts that are longer than six months but less than two years it will still be possible to agree upon a probationary period of one month. That period may be extended up to two months by collective agreement.

No changes will take place with regard to the current arrangements for probation terms in fixed term contracts of two years or longer and permanent contracts. It will still be possible to agree upon a probationary period of two months in these contracts. It is not possible to extend this period by collective agreement. Two months is the maximum of a probation period in the Netherlands.

If a probationary period is not in accordance with the law it will be null and void.

Employment agreements entered into before January 1st, 2015

Please note that the new rules will merely apply to employment agreements which were agreed upon on or after the 1st of January 2015. The new rules will not apply to employment agreements which were agreed upon before the 1st of January 2015, but take effect on or after the 1st of January 2015. It will thus still be possible to include a probationary period in employment agreements with a duration of six months or less which start as per 1 January 2015 or later if these employment agreements have been entered into before the 1st of January 2015.

More amendments as per January 1, 2015

Not only the possibility to include a probationary period in fixed term employment agreements will be restricted as per the 1st of January 2015. Also, the possibility to include non-compete clauses in fixed term employment agreements will be restricted as per the 1st of January 2015: non-compete clauses will in principle no longer be allowed in Dutch fixed term employment contracts. Furthermore, a duty to notify will be introduced for fixed term employment contracts as per January 1, 2015.

Amendments as per July 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016

The above mentioned amendmenst will enter into force as per the 1st of January 2015. However, the same Bill introduces other changes, which will enter into force as per July 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016. The most drastic changes will enter into force as per the 1st of July 2015. As per the 1st of July 2015 Dutch dismissal law will completely change.

Furthermore, other amendments will be made to Dutch employment law as per the 1st of July 2015, such as an amendment to the rules which stipulate when an employment agreement for a limited duration will convert in an employment agreement for an unlimited duration. As per the 1st of January 2016 the rules regarding unemployment benefits wil be amended.

We will keep you posted

We will keep you posted about the amendments in Dutch dismissal law and other amendments in Dutch employment law by posting blogs about these amendments. Please make sure that you receive these blogs so you will be well informed about the changes ahead in Dutch dismissal law and other changes in Dutch employment law by subscribing to our newsletter, follow me on twitter, add me to your circle at Google+ and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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