Balanced Labor Market Act (WAB) – A Walhalla for on-call workers

Do you work a lot with on-call workers? A new dutch law called: ‘The Balanced Labor Market Act’ (WAB) prescribes, among other things, that from January 2020 on-call workers with a zero-hour contract or a min/max contract must be called up at least four days in advance. Otherwise, he or she has the right to refuse service. In addition, as an employer, you are obliged to pay when a scheduled service is canceled less than four days in advance.

The job market and the law are constantly changing. While the current legislation regarding dismissal, on-call workers and the transition allowance is still settling, the next change in legislation is on its way. With the new law, the gap between permanent contracts and flex workers must be reduced. The government does this by making the employment conditions of flex workers more similar to those of permanent employees. That way, fixed services become more attractive.

It is essential to examine the influence of the bill on the contract duration of on-call employees. The new law states that on-call workers are entitled to a contract offer after 1 year. After the first year, the contract will take the average of the number of hours worked per week in the first year. If James worked an average of 15 hours a week in the first year, he is entitled to a workforce of 15 fixed hours per week.

Prepare for changes

To prepare you for the law change, it is important to check the current employment contracts of the staff and to discuss how your payroller deals with the changes. In addition, it is important to inform your own staff. If individual employment contracts need to be changed, you want to be sure that they have been implemented before 1 January 2020.  

The bill can influence how Dyflexis customers want to reward on-call workers. If you want on-call workers with the new contract to automatically get the extra/overtime via Dyflexis by the end of the month paid, you have to use the new hours’ overview/timesheets. You can contact support regarding this transition and conditions.

In addition, we noticed the following aspects:

  • Unemployment Insurance Premium

From now on, employers will pay a low premium for employees with a permanent contract. For employees with a temporary contract it is the other way around. For them, a higher unemployment insurance contribution must be paid.

  • Dismissal easier

To fire someone, there are a number of valid points that must be pointed out. For example, malfunctions, culpable actions or a disrupted employment relationship. Now, for dismissal, the employer must be able to prove one of those grounds for dismissal by means of a file and a poorly completed improvement process.

To simplify dismissal, it will be possible to dismiss someone from 2020 if the aforementioned grounds for dismissal partly arise. To meet the needs of the injured, a transition payment must be made from 2020 or from day one. This was previously only after two years.

  • Chain arrangement from two to three years

The chain regulation determines when successive temporary contracts will be converted into a permanent contract. Contracts are successive when they succeed each other with a stop of 6 months or less. When working with fixed-term employment contracts, contracts automatically end.

The uncertainty about getting a permanent contract now lasts two years, but will last three years from 2020. The amendment to the law provides employers with considerably more flexibility. A permanent contract is, therefore, less likely for the employee.

  • Electronic or written invitations

In addition to the fact that employers must schedule an employee four days in advance, the employer must also register this digitally or in writing. This also applies to canceling a service. If the employer does not do this, the call or cancellation is invalid and the employee can object to the wage. The verbal cancellation is therefore not valid, even if this is done on time.