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Employment law
The past year was mainly characterised by an increase in turnover and acute staff shortages that were sometimes barely below those in the aviation and travel sectors. Unlike in previous years, there has been no noteworthy case law on issues such as non-compliance with coronavirus Regulations or possible applicability of the TUPE regulations (Article 7:662 of the Dutch Civil Code) in case of termination of an external cleaning contract due to reduced work.
Attracting and retaining staff has become a top priority for many hotels, even though less successful hotels will feel the consequences of the termination of the financial support packages during the covid-19 years. It is worth noting that the largest organisation representing hospitality businesses in the Netherlands, Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), initiated legal proceedings in 2021 against the Dutch State. KHN claims collective compensation for the consequences of the covid-19 measures imposed on the hospitality and catering industry. These proceedings are still pending.
Despite this extremely tense labour market for the hospitality sector and extra attention to matters such as CSR and a safe and inclusive work environment, abuses in the hotel cleaning sector – especially in the big cities – still regularly come to light, as they did in previous years, in areas such as remuneration, work pressure and intimidation.
The CLA for the Hotel and Catering Industry 2022–2023 (the CLA) was concluded by KHN and various trade unions in March 2022 and declared generally binding at the end of June 2022. This means that this CLA actually applies to almost all hotels in the Netherlands.
The CLA has an extensive regulation of numerous employment and working conditions, including different types of employment contracts (fixed and indefinite term, on-call, zero hours and minus-max). Special rules apply for seasonal workers and apprentices. The CLA also includes several template employment contracts, which makes the CLA – despite its size – fairly user-friendly.
The CLA has a minimum character, which means that it may only be deviated from in favour of the employee. Hotels will be forced to do this more often in 2022 than before, in order to recruit and retain the necessary staff. It is exemplary for this that a group of hotels recently introduced the ‘summer bonus 2022’ in this ongoing war on talent.
As far as working hours and rest times are concerned, in principle the Working Hours Act applies. This act makes it possible for a CLA to deviate from the statutory rules on a number of points. For example, the CLA allows a maximum of 12 hours of work per day, with a maximum of 60 hours per week. The basic rule to apply in the case of overtime is ‘time for time’, but if this cannot be executed within three months, then the employee is entitled to 100 per cent payment.
The CLA does not regulate pensions, but participation in the Pension Fund for the Dutch hospitality and catering industry is compulsory based on a Ministerial Decree.
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