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New employment legislation – probation period

As per January 1, 2015 new rules will be implemented related to employment. Among which the probation period (proeftijd). The probation period is the period during which both the employer and the employee can decide not to continue the agreement without providing the other party with an argument for their decision. What will change in this field?

The current situation is that you can have a one month probation period for contracts shorter than 2 years and a two month probation period for contracts longer than 2 years. The change is that contract shorter than 6 months no longer can have a probation period. Contracts between 6 months and a two year period can have a one month probation period. Contracts longer than 2 years can have a 2 months probation period.

Is this change a problem? Not really, instead of a six months contract you issue a seven months contract and you can still use one month of probation period. However, experience learns that one month probation period is not enough to learn if the employee meets the expectations. So six months without a probation period should suit you fine.

For non resident employers, please note that the periods of probation are strict. Some countries have a longer period, for instance Germany has a three month probation period. If you put that in any Dutch employment contract, it is not in line with Dutch legislation with a result that no probation period has been agreed upon.

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