Transparent and predictable employment conditions

Published by: Marieke Hartkoorn posted on 23 November 2021 reading time

Clear terms of employment

By 1 August 2022, the European Transparency and Predictability Directive must be implemented in our national law. The main objective of the directive is, as the name suggests, to make working conditions more transparent and predictable.

A large part of the obligations laid down in the Directive has already been incorporated into our legislation. Examples are the written information obligation and the maximum duration of the probationary period. However, the Directive also contains provisions that are not yet part of existing law, such as the costs of compulsory training, the more extensive information obligation and the right to a predictable work pattern. In this paper I will discuss another new right, namely the right to multiple jobs.

The ancillary employment clause restricted

Having several jobs may be prohibited in the employment contract, this is the so-called ancillary work clause. At present, our law does not contain any specific conditions for including a secondary employment clause in the employment contract. Therefore, this clause is frequently used without - it seems - proper consideration being given to the purpose of the clause and the interests of the parties. In practice, a ban on ancillary activities regularly leads to lack of clarity, conflicts or even dismissal. By implementing the Directive, the side-employment clause will be restricted.

The Directive is based on the premise that employees must be allowed to have several jobs. A worker is thus entitled to work and earn income for another employer or for himself outside the agreed working hours. This right may be restricted provided that such restriction can be justified on objective grounds.

The Directive mentions, among other things, health and safety, protection of confidentiality of company information and avoidance of conflicts of interest as limitations to the right to multiple employment. The restrictions are not exhaustively listed in the directive. If, as an employer, you have an actual and objectively justified interest in prohibiting (certain) secondary activities, this is still possible.

By complying with the Directive, parties will have to think more carefully about the side-employment clause. Which interest does the employer intend to protect and which reasonable limitations may he impose on the employee in this respect? Discussing the clause clearly in advance will make parties more aware of each other's interests, the possibilities and limitations.

If you would like to know more about the side-employment clause or other changes under the Directive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our employment lawyers.