Senate Rejects the Work Where You Want Act

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We have previously informed you about the "Work Where You Want" bill. This will be our last post on this bill for now, as it did not pass in the Senate. Last week, the Senate voted on the Work Where You Want Act, which aimed to make it easier for employees to work in a hybrid manner. The bill would have given employees more freedom to work from home or another location. According to the bill, employers could only refuse a request to change the workplace if they had compelling business interests. This rule also applies to requests from employees to adjust their working hours and schedules. After advice from the Social and Economic Council (SER), this was relaxed to stipulate that an employee's request to work from home should be assessed "according to standards of reasonableness and fairness." The Senate has now rejected the bill. Given the existing regulatory burden on employers, the Senate deemed it unnecessary to amend the current legislation. Employers and employees will need to discuss any request to change the workplace and adhere to the current rules.

What Are the Current Rules?

The current rules are outlined in the Flexible Working Act. If an employee requests to work from home, this request must be submitted at least two months before the intended start date. The employer is required to consider the request and discuss it with the employee. Unlike a request to adjust working hours or schedules, an employer does not need a compelling business interest to refuse a work-from-home request. Such a request can be fairly easily declined, but the employer must provide a written explanation to the employee. Note that if a decision is not made one month before the intended start date, the request must be granted.

In Summary

You are not obligated to agree to a request to work from home. If you do agree, ensure you have a good hybrid working protocol in place.

If you have any questions or are interested in a hybrid working protocol, please contact our employment law specialists.

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De Haij & van der Wende

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Dennis Oud

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Erwin den Hartog

Corporate law, Real estate law
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Fleur Huisman

Environmental law
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Petra Lindthout

Environmental law
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Tessa Sipkema

Employment law, Corporate law
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Gerard van der Wende

Administrative law and Family law
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Elke Hofman-Bijvank

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