With new law, the Netherlands wants to guarantee the right to remote work

Employees will be able to choose whether they want to work from home, and employers will have to justify their refusal if the measure is approved in the Senate

From January 2023, the remote work could become a right guaranteed by law in the Netherlands — which will then become one of the first countries in the world to allow people to choose what home office, informs the You HR.

The proposal, presented in July by politicians Steven van Weyenberg, from the Democrats 66 Party, and Senna Maatoug, from the Green Party, has already been approved by the Dutch parliament. Now, it goes to the Senate for approval.

If implemented, the measure provides that employees of companies with ten or more employees may request the change to the remote work model, if the role performed by the person allows remote work. 

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, which encouraged companies around the world to implement the remote or hybrid model, the Netherlands already had 14% of the country's workforce in home office. This is because, in 2016, the country put the Flexible Work Law into force, which allowed professionals to request the change to the remote model.

The big change with the new measure (which is, in fact, an amendment to this law) is that, if approved, employers will be required to justify in writing their reasons for refusing this type of request.

“We had the green light to approve this measure thanks to the support we received from both employees and unions”, explains Weyenberg, in an interview with Bloomberg.

Best countries for remote work

This year, Nordlayer, a cybersecurity software company, released a report ranking the best countries for remote work in 2022. Among the evaluation criteria are cybersecurity, social and economic conditions, digital and physical infrastructure and policies to combat Covid-19.

In the ranking, the Netherlands appears in 6th place, behind Germany (1st), Denmark (2nd), the United States (3rd), Spain (4th) and Lithuania (5th). Brazil occupies 51st position among the 66 countries evaluated.

Regarding labor legislation, the Netherlands can be an example for other countries with regard to worker rights, informs the Super interesting. In addition to guaranteeing the right to home office, the country requires employers to guarantee the health of their employees, providing an adequate work environment, with an ergometric chair, office desk and other equipment necessary to carry out their professional functions.

This right is regulated through regular visits to the environment chosen by employees, accompanied by an occupational health and safety specialist, who must certify whether the location complies with the obligations set out in law.

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