We have listed the most important (upcoming) legislative changes for you.
Tax-free homework allowance
As of January 1, 2022, employers may provide a tax-free home working allowance of a maximum of 2 euros per day. The reimbursement can be granted on the basis of a fixed homework pattern or on a claim basis. An employee is entitled to either the homework allowance or the travel allowance. On the days that an employee already receives a travel allowance, a homework allowance cannot be provided in addition. The Work Costs Scheme, which has been temporarily extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has expired on 1 January 2022.
Prohibition of smoking areas
Smoking areas in the workplace are no longer allowed from 1 January 2022; there is a smoking ban in all areas, buildings and establishments where work is carried out. This also applies to a company car.
More co-determination rights for temporary workers
As of January 1, 2022, flex workers will have employee participation rights more quickly. An employee only needs to work in the company for three months before he can vote (active suffrage) and stand for election (passive suffrage). Temporary workers also build up the right to vote more quickly in the company of the hirer: from 1 January, a temporary worker will receive an active and passive right to vote after 18 months.
High unemployment insurance premium for overtime
From 2022, the high unemployment insurance premium will apply if an employee with an employment contract for an indefinite period of less than 35 hours per week works overtime for more than 30% of the contract hours per year. The level of the unemployment insurance premium is then 7.7% instead of 2.7%. The increase was temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis. It is important to keep a close eye on whether employees with a permanent contract work overtime on a structural basis.
Legal transition payment
In 2022, the maximum transition payment is € 86,000 gross (or an annual salary, whichever is higher). You can calculate the transition payment via the Transition Payment Tool on our website.
Study costs and other educational expenses are no longer tax deductible from 1 January 2022. Instead, workers and job seekers can request a STAP budget of up to 1000 euros for training and development. STAP is a government subsidy and stands for Stimulation of the Labor Market Position. The STAP budget can be requested from UWV from 1 March 2022 for training activities that are listed in the training register.
Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions
The law will come into force on 1 August 2022, implementing the European Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions. Some of the measures in this guideline already apply in the Netherlands or are standard practice. Employers are, among other things, obliged to provide more information about working conditions and the rights and obligations at the start of an employment contract. When an employer is required by law or the collective labor agreement to provide certain training to the employee, the employer must pay for this and the training must be possible during working hours. An employer may also not prevent an employee from working outside the work schedule for another employer (so-called ancillary activities clause), unless there is an objective justification for this. In addition, employees who have been employed for 26 weeks – at most once a year – may request a form of work with more predictable working conditions. The law has direct effect. We will inform you in a separate blog about this law and the consequences for, among other things, agreements made about study costs and performing ancillary activities.
From 2 August 2022, an employee is entitled to partially paid parental leave. In short, this means that an employee can take 9 weeks of partially paid leave in the first year of a child's life. This leave is paid by the UWV.
Web module self-employed
The web module will continue to exist for the time being. The questionnaire can be used to clarify whether work may be done by a self-employed person or an employee.
New government and coalition agreement
In the coalition agreement, the new Rutte IV cabinet has announced major plans aimed at reforming the labor market. These plans are based on the SER advice (June 2021) and the final report of the Employment Regulation Committee (January 2020). The cabinet wants to reduce the differences between permanent and flex workers by better regulating on-call, temporary and temporary contracts. A neutral part-time unemployment benefit is also being worked out. Money is also earmarked for easing the burden on small and medium-sized enterprises for continued payment of wages during illness. In addition to the further development of the web module for the self-employed, stricter enforcement will also be applied in the event of suspected self-employment.
We will of course keep you informed as soon as more becomes known about the elaboration of the coalition agreement on labor market reforms and other important new developments, such as an advice from the SER on the Working Conditions Vision 2040 aimed at improving the safety and health of working people.