Changes as of January 1, 2024

  1. Introduction of Minimum Hourly Wage Law

As of January 1, 2024, the Minimum Hourly Wage Law (Wet invoering minimumuurloon) came into effect. This act mandates employers to pay employees at least the minimum wage per hour. There is a fixed minimum hourly wage for all employees aged 21 and older. With this change, the statutory minimum wage also increases by 3.75%. As of January 1, 2024, the gross minimum wage is EUR 13.27 per hour. The current minimum wage is indexed on January 1 and July 1 of each year. This change requires employers to adjust agreements in collective employment agreements (cao) and employment contracts to comply with the new law. Salary systems also need to be adapted accordingly.


  1. Social Affairs and Employment Amendment Act 2024

This act introduces various changes to employment law and social security legislation. The changes partly result from new legislation (such as the Minimum Hourly Wage Law) or practical discrepancies between the legal text and practice. Examples of changes include the shift from a 40-hour workweek to a 36-hour workweek in the Work and Care Act (Wet Arbeid en Zorg) and the elimination of the possibility to refuse parental leave due to compelling business interests when an employee works outside the Netherlands.


  1. Employment Cost Scheme (Werkkostenregeling)

Through the Employment Cost Scheme (WKR), employers can provide tax-free reimbursements to employees, including reimbursements that may benefit employees personally, such as a gym subscription. The total amount must stay within the ‘free space’ (vrije ruimte). From 2024, the free space in the WKR is set at 1.92% up to a wage sum of €400,000.


  1. Increase in Tax-Free Commuting and Remote Work Allowance

The tax-free commuting allowance increases from EUR 0.21 per kilometer to EUR 0.23 per kilometer. The tax-free remote work allowance increases from EUR 2.15 to EUR 2.35 per day. These allowances do not fall under the WKR free space.

Potential Changes in 2024

  1. Mandatory appointment of a confidential adviser for undesirable behavior in the workplace

With this legislative proposal, every employee would have a legal right to access a confidential adviser. Additionally, the position of the confidential adviser in the organization will be strengthened. The proposal aims to reduce undesirable behavior in the workplace and create a safe working environment for all employees. The proposal has been approved by the Dutch House of Representatives and is currently under consideration by the Senate.


  1. Act on supervision equal opportunities in recruitment and selection (Wet toezicht gelijke kansen bij werving en selectie)
    This proposal obligates employers and intermediaries to have a procedure aimed at preventing discrimination in the recruitment and selection of employees. Employers with 25 or more employees must document this procedure in writing. When externally hiring workers, employers must also ensure compliance with this obligation. The Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet) and the Placement of Personnel by Intermediaries Act (Wet allocatie arbeidskrachten door intermediairs) will be adjusted for this proposal. The House of Representatives has approved the proposal, and it is currently under consideration by the Senate.

Potential Long-Term Changes

  1. Act on equal pay for women and men (Wet gelijke beloning van vrouwen en mannen)
    This proposal aims to eliminate unequal pay between men and women. Companies with more than 50 employees will have an obligation to provide information on salary differences between women and men in comparable positions to the works council and in the annual report. The proposal also entails the establishment of a certification system, requiring companies with more than 250 employees to obtain a certificate demonstrating equal pay for women and men every three years. If unequal pay is identified, the employer is given an opportunity to rectify the situation. The proposal is currently under consideration by the House of Representatives.


  1. Accessibility outside working hours

This legislative proposal seeks to ensure that employers and employees make agreements about being unreachable outside working hours. This can limit the risks of psychosocial occupational stress, such as stress and burnout symptoms, caused by constant availability. The proposal is currently under consideration by the House of Representatives.


For inquiries about the changes or the status of future changes, please contact Jaouad Seghrouchni, Senior Associate, Employment & Employee Participation.