Benelux: What are the formal requirements for an employment contract?

January 10, 2015

Netherlands

Under Dutch law there are no formal requirements for an employment agreement; it can be entered into in writing or orally. However, for certain provisions (e.g. probation period, non-competition clause, amendment clause or penalty clause) it is necessary to put them in writing.

An employer is also obliged to provide the employee with a written or electronic statement of certain particulars of the terms of employment within one month of commencing employment.

As a minimum, this should include:

Belgium

Under Belgian law, in principle, there is no legal obligation for an employment agreement to be in writing.

Consequently, an agreement for an indefinite duration starts when the employee begins work. It would be advisable for all relevant work regulations and policies to be provided to the employee. In addition it is necessary to ensure that the employee is registered with the social security database, work accident insurer, any other fringe benefit service provider and payroll service provider.

Luxembourg

According to Luxembourg labour law, an employment relationship must be evidenced in writing, must contain certain implied terms and should be entered into no later than the date of the first day of work.

The Labour Code further requires the employment agreement to include the following elements:

However, the absence of a written document does not necessarily affect the existence of the employment contract as an employee who has been hired without one can always prove an employment relationship exists before the Labour court.  The absence of a written contract may create a number of uncertainties regarding the details of the working relationship, and where challenged the burden of proof with respect to the terms and conditions of employment will fall on the employer.

Further Information

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Rina Driece on +31 10 224 64 24  at Loyens & Loeff, Netherlands.

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Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this newsletter. For further legal information click here.

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