The Bill Working Wherever you Want approved by the Lower House of Parliament

On January 27th 2021, 2 political parties (D66 and Groenlinks) submitted the Bill Working Wherever you Want. This Bill has now been approved by the Lower House of Parliament. The Bill intends to facilitate employees in being able to enforce (partially) working from home. After all, research has shown that a majority of people working from home during the corona crisis have experienced this as pleasant, while there are still employers who require their employees to come to the office, despite working from home being an option.

The changes
With the implementation of the Bill Working Wherever you Want, the Bill on Flexible Work will be amended. The employer will in the future have to agree to a request to work from home if the employee's interests in working from home outweigh the employer's interests in having the employee work at the employer’s premises.

Current situation
Although under the current legislation the employee can already formally request his employer to change the place of work, the employer is currently at liberty to turn down a request to that effect on the part of the employee. The only requirement is that the employer is required to respond to such a request and to discuss a decision to turn it down with the employee.

Amended proposal
The Bill's original intention was to arrange that the employer could only reject a request to work from home on the basis of compelling business interests. According to the advice of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands in this respect, it is important to be able to better balance the interests of employers and employees. As a result, this less far-reaching measure has eventually been implemented in the current legislative Bill, whereby an employee must properly substantiate his request and the employer must weigh his own interests against those of the employee.

Entry into force
The Bill will now be sent to the Senate. The preliminary examination by the Senate Committee for Social Affairs and Employment takes place on 27 September 2022.

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