Being offered a new job is exciting, especially when it provides the next step to your career. You may want to sign the new contract immediately to secure the deal – but before you do, take a moment to quickly check these 5 points. They are key to your future rights at work.
This post was reviewed and updated on 13 July 2020
1 – Check the law
If you work in the Netherlands, Dutch law will often apply in full or in part to your employment, even if the law of another country is declared applicable in your employment contract. This is important as the applicable law determines your rights, and employees enjoy very strong legal protection under Dutch law.
2 – Check the non-compete clause
If your previous employment contract included a non-compete clause, check that it does not prohibit you from accepting this new job. If your new employment contract contains a non-compete clause, check this too before signing. Do not violate your non-competition or client relations clauses. Doing so will incur heavy penalties. Instead, try to negotiate these clauses upfront, or seek legal advice if you feel an existing non-compete clause is invalid or unreasonably restrictive.
3 – Check the job description
Pay particular attention to the job description in your contract. When you sign, you are legally committing to these duties and responsibilities. Your job description can also be used in performance appraisals or, in case of a future dispute, as evidence of the scope of your role.
4 – Check the term(ination)
Is your contract an offer for permanent employment, or for temporary employment? If there is an end date in your contract then it is for a fixed term, so it is a temporary employment contract. If your contract has no end date, or states that the offer is for an undetermined duration, then it is an offer for permanent employment. Your employment type determines how you and/or your employer can terminate the contract.
5 – Check the holiday allowance
If you work a 40 hour week, then you are entitled to 20 holidays per year, as well as national holidays and company holidays. Vacation money comprises 8 percent of your annual salary, which is often paid out annually. As such, your holiday allowance and vacation money are a valuable part of your new job offer.
Still unsure? Get advice
If your new contract does not contain these 5 points, or if you are concerned about another clause in your employment contract, please contact us for advice. Our experts in employment law can give you the insight and answers to understand your legal position before you begin.
More information about Dutch employment law and what it means for you?
Learn more about your rights as an employee in the Netherlands. Discover how to handle challenging situations with concrete examples. For guidance, clear explanations and legal tips, download our free white paper: When to call a lawyer about work
This article was published in ACCESS magazine
Godelijn experienced an international upbringing and education as an expat child living in Africa and England. Back in The Netherlands, she studied law at the University of Utrecht (1990). She then embarked on her legal career as a lawyer by working 10 years for the well-known law firm of ‘Wladimiroff en Spong Advocaten’. In 2000 she joined GMW lawyers as a partner and is the head of the Labour law and Pension section.
Godelijn specialises in international employment law and has extensive experience in dealing with both non-contentious and contentious international employment matters including (collective) redundancy packages and dismissal. She works for both companies and individual employees, enabling her to keep an open mind to both sides of a case. Naturally she helps her clients when a problem has arisen, but prefers to act before an escalation has taken place. Advice on a fair Human Resource policy is an essential part of her work.
Godelijn Boonman is considered to be the undoubted employment specialist for the expat community because she is bilingual, has a large international clientele and a wealth of experience in international employment law matters. She is therefore frequently asked to be the key note speaker at international seminars.
Godelijn has a keen interest in the international community and is a member of the advisory board of ACCESS .