At the start of a calendar year, employers have to prepare for changes in the laws and regulations affecting their personnel policies in 2023.
Flex work must be limited and a permanent contract will become the norm. Pensions will be reformed and employers will have to deal with that as well. The non-compete clause will be changed, as will the rules for secondment. The work expense account (in Dutch: WKR) will expand and untaxed travel allowance will increase. Employers should take the following developments in labour law in 2023 into account:
Increase of the Work Expense Account (WKR)
Due to high inflation, allowances and benefits provided to employees can be considerably more expensive than before, resulting in the amount of “free space” in the Working Cost Regulation being exceeded and the employer having to pay more tax. In order to ease the burden on employers, the Cabinet therefore plans to increase the free margin in the Work Expense Regulation to 3% for the first 400 thousand euros of the fiscal wage bill in 2023.
- Small and medium-sized businesses in particular will benefit from this substantial increase.
CO2 emissions business travel report for more than 100 employees
Business travel and commuting account for 61% of work-related passenger mobility. By 2030, the Climate Agreement calls for reduced CO2 emissions.
- Therefore, employers with more than 100 employees are likely to have to report their business mobility emissions to the “Rijksdienst voor ondernemend Nederland” (RVO) from July 1, 2023.
Increase in travel allowance and home office allowance
Inflation and increased energy prices lead to adjustments in home work allowance and travel allowance.
- The allowance employers may provide untaxed for working from home will increase by 15 cents to €2.15 per day in 2023.
- The travel allowance was increased from €0.19 to €0.21 per kilometre effective January 1, 2023.
- Revisions to the implementation of the Blue Card Directive are in progress. The directive has less strict entry criteria than its predecessor and more flexible options for using intra-EU mobility. The directive must be implemented in Dutch laws and regulations by November 2023 at the latest.
- From now on, an employer must choose each calendar year whether to reimburse “extraterritorial expenses” for foreign employees based on actual costs incurred or based on the 30% rule.
- The temporary social security rules for home-based cross-border workers have been extended through June 30, 2023.
Minimum wage increases
Work has to be more rewarding and should strengthen the minimum subsistence level.
- Therefore, the legal minimum wage has been increased by 10.15% in one go from January 1, 2023. In addition, there will be a legal minimum wage based on a 36-hour work week in 2024.
Deferring compensation for transition compensation in case of business termination due to illness
Small employers (fewer than 25 employees) already have the option of applying for compensation with respect to the severance payment they would have to pay in the event of business termination due to their retirement or death. It is intended that small employers will also be able to apply for compensation for the transition compensation in the event of business termination due to their illness.
- Given the complexity, the compensation scheme for the transitional compensation in case of business termination due to illness will not take effect until 2024 at the earliest.
The non-compete clause
Research has shown that the non-competition clause is often used improperly, for example to retain employees and prevent attrition given the tight labour market. The social partners also want to reform the non-competition clause.
- Therefore, a modification of the non-competition clause is being further elaborated. The aim is to inform the Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer) about this in 2023.
The AOW-age rises
- The state pension age goes up by three months to 66 years and 10 months.
New pension system
On July 1, 2023, the new pension law will take effect. The introduction of the new pension system responds to economic developments over the past few years. What will change?
- the new pension system includes, among other things, a solidarity reserve to mitigate large fluctuations in the financial market;
- transparency about pension accrual; and
- the new pension rules better align with the fact that people no longer work for 40 years for one employer.
The social partners and pension administrators will have 4 years to adapt pension plans to the new legislation, i.e. until July 1, 2027.
Work Where You Want Act
The Work Where You Want Act stipulates that, in principle, you must accept a request from your employee to work from home, provided that this is possible for the type of work the employee does. This also applies to requests from home workers who actually want to work in the office.
- The proposed law was passed by the Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer), but has yet to be approved by the First Chamber (Eerste Kamer).
Our advice is to review your employee handbook, check changes in applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, and amend it where necessary.
Please feel free to contact us for any questions and or assistance.
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