HEUSSEN Introduces Labour Market in Balance Act to Chinese Enterprises

In the afternoon of 16 January, the second seminar series for the 10th anniversary of HEUSSEN China practice was kicked off in Amsterdam. Partner specialized in employment law, Nils E.W. van Dijkman, and associate, Sam E.J.M. van Well, together with Head of China Practice Wendy Liu introduced the main amendments of the new Labour Market in Balance Act (“WAB”) to the participating Chinese enterprises.

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The new act entered into force as per 1 January 2020. Regulations in employment law were amended significantly by the new act. How should an employer in the Netherlands response to the new act? How does the new act affect the employment relationship between employer and employee? We explained this in detail to all participants.

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Sam van Well firstly introduced the main aspects of Dutch Labour Law to the Chinese enterprises, including three key elements of employment contract and how to terminate the employment contract. Subsequently, Nils van Dijkman started to discuss the new act, by explaining the amendments with regard to termination of employment. Under the new Act, the eight statutory reasons for requesting the court or a governmental organization to terminate employment relations can be combined by making use of the so-called cumulation ground. With regard to statutory severance payment (the so-called ‘transition compensation’), Nils van Dijkman explained the new regulations, calculation methods as well as the policy for reclaiming such compensation from the government in detail. Lastly, when Sam van Well explained the amendments with regard to flexible employment, she discussed amendments with regard to on-called contracts and with regard to the successive chain of fixed-term employment contracts. The participants in the seminar asked questions about the problems they encountered in practice quite often. Nils van Dijkman shared his experience on how to control employment costs and minimize the risk regarding employment with the participants.

Guests from HR, finance, legal and sales departments in multiple Chinese companies participated the seminar. They praised the sharing and interpretation of the new act. After the seminar, the Chinese enterprises discussed the issues they have encountered with the lawyers of HEUSSEN.