While American companies struggle to attract workers back to their offices, the Dutch Parliament has passed legislation to establish remote work as a legal right in the country. The text now heads to the Senate.
If passed, the new law will force companies to consider requests from employees who wish to work outside the office, provided their professions allow it. If they deny it, employers will have to provide a plausible explanation.
The law represents an “important step” for workers, Senna Maatoug, co-author of the bill said. “It allows them to find a better work-life balance and reduce time spent on commuting.”
The move toward remote work in the Netherlands follows a more flexible working policy already practiced in the Netherlands even before the pandemic. In 2018, according to figures from the Wall Street Journal, 14% of Dutch people worked remotely – the highest rate in the European Union (EU), according to the Statistics Office (Eurostat).
Furthermore, the bill passed by Parliament is an amendment to the Flexible Working Act, instated in 2015 in the Netherlands, which allowed employees to request certain changes, including the number of working hours, the period that tasks would be performed, and also the location where duties would be fulfilled.