Corona: what about my job?
We are currently receiving a lot of questions from students whose financial situation has been (negatively) impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Labour unions, together with employers and the government have negotiated extensive measures aimed at protecting employees and their income. However, many students aren’t (fully) aware of their rights and it is unclear whether employees will implement these financial measures for employees who are employed based a flexible (for example: 0-hour) contract. On this page you will find the most important information regarding your rights as an employee. We also provide you with the opportunity to receive assistance which is tailored to your personal situation.
I have min/max-contract or a 0-hour (in Dutch: nulurencontract) contract, what are my rights?
One of the measures announced by the government is that employers can apply for compensation worth 90% of their employees' salaries. If applying for this arrangement, the employer is required to pay the full salary to its employees, covering 10% themselves. This scheme can also be applied for on behalf of on-call employees (Dutch: oproepkrachten). The main criteria for employers to be able to benefit from this arrangement is that their company has an expected revenue decrease of more than 20%. If the company you work at has an expected decrease of revenue that is less than 20%, the company is expected to shoulder paying your income itself. Please note that the employer that has to claim this arrangement. As an employee, you cannot do this yourself, your employer will have to do this for you.
As an on-call employee you have the right to work (and thus to income) the amount of hours you worked on average in the last three months of your employment. This is based on the so-called legal presumption of workload (Dutch: rechtsvermoeden arbeidsomvang). If in the past three months you worked more than the hours specified on your contract, than you can request your employer to claim your income for those additional hours as well. If there is no work for you, you still have to be paid a salary equal the average amount hours you worked the past three months, regardless if your employer is eligible to make use of the arrangements the government provides.
I was scheduled to work but my employer has removed me from the schedule, is this allowed?
No. If your work schedule is changed within four days of you being scheduled to work, than you the right to paid for the amount of hours you were scheduled to work.
When does my right to continued payment (Dutch: doorbetaling) with an on-call contract (Dutch: oproepcontract) cease?
Certain contracts include a clause which exempts employers from the obligation to continue pay (Dutch: uitsluiting van de doorbetalingsplicht). Simply put, this means that you are not entitled to pay if there is no work. This exemption only applies in the first six months of your employment. So, if you have been employed longer than six months or if your contract does not include this clause, then your employer is required to continue to pay your salary. Again, this also applies if your employer is unable to claim your salary via the reimbursement schemes provided by the government.