15 November 2017

Legal advice for expats in the Netherlands

Expat in the Netherlands

An expat in the Netherlands is entitled to legal rights according to the law applicable to his employment situation. That’s is not always the law mentioned in the employment contract. However it is not always straightforward which law applies to the expat’s situation. So let me help you out there as an Netherlands employment lawyer, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question on your employment situation.

Main rule of applicable law for expats In the Netherlands

As expat you may work in various countries. According to the ‘European regulation on contractual obligations’ the applicable law for an employment contract is the law of the country in which an employee usually works. Even if you contract stipulates that the law of another country applies to your employment situation then still the law of the country in which the expat usually works, applies. Therefor your employer should respect Dutch and international law although your employment contract may stipulate otherwise.

Working as an expat in the Netherlands and another country

If you work as an expat in more than one country, it may not be possible to establish in which country the employee mostly works. The main rule is then, that the law of the country in which the employer is located will be applicable. So if your employer is in Germany then German law may apply in that case.

Expat clause and Netherlands Law

If however, the two rules I have mentioned above do not apply if it can be shown that, taking all facts and circumstances into account, the employment is clearly more closely connected to another country. This is the so-called ‘expat clause’ for temporary assignments and something you must be aware of when dealing with any contractual issues, especially dismissal. Please obtain proper legal advice before any termination agreement. The applicable law to your contract can make quite a difference for your expat rights.

Advice of Dutch Employment Lawyer

Since no situation is the same this may still leave you with questions. So don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question on your employment situation. That’s what Blenheim’s employment lawyers are here for. If you are about to sign an employment contract please obtain legal advice from one of our employment law experts.