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Netherlands: Industrial relations

Updating author: Wouter Engelsman and Jasper Hoffstedde, CLINT | Littler

Original authors: Mark Carley and Robbert H. van het Kaar

See the legal services provided by the updating authors of XpertHR International > Netherlands, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Trade unions and employers have the right to negotiate but there is no obligation on either side to do so. (See Trade unions and recognition)
  • Multi-employer collective agreements at national sector level are predominant, but there are a significant number of company agreements. (See Collective agreements)
  • The main form of employee representation in enterprises is the works council. (See Informing and consulting employees - general)
  • There are various rules regarding employers' obligations to inform and consult prior to redundancies. (See Informing and consulting prior to redundancies)
  • There are various rules regarding employers' obligations to inform and consult prior to business transfers. (See Informing and consulting prior to transfers)
  • "Community-scale" undertakings must, in certain circumstances, establish a body to negotiate with management over the establishment of a European Works Council or an information and consultation procedure. (See European Works Councils)
  • Trade unions and individual employees have the right to strike, subject to limitations. (See Industrial action and picketing)
  • Where certain conditions are satisfied, employees are entitled to indirect representation on their company's supervisory board. (See Board-level employee representation)
  • Shareholders and trade unions can request the courts to order an investigation into companies if they have serious doubts about the soundness of the company's policy. (See The right of inquiry)