Tag: Covid-19 health crisis

New pandemic needs new rules: COVID in The Netherlands

Covid-19 confronts us with a risk that First World countries have not encountered since the Spanish Flu 100 years ago. A worldwide health crisis which leads to mandatory closure of busi-nesses, travelling restrictions and therefore affects employment and employment opportunities in a whole range of sectors. What does this do to an employment law that is already under pres-sure from various directions (think of challenges connected to the atomisation of work, gig-economiy, declining trade union membership, artificial intelligence and the like)? This article discusses the changes which the Dutch government introduced in the rules governing financial aid to employees and employers in case of extraordinary events where safeguarding (some) in-come for employees is as crucial as the survival of businesses themselves. The discussion focus-ses on regulations regarding regular employment and will therefore not touch upon the specific measures for flexible work (TOFA), for self-employed (TOZA) and compensation for hard-hit sec-tors (TOGS) (for a brief overview of these measures see e.g. H. Bennaars, B.H. ter Haar, https://illej.unibo.it/article/view/10779/11130). The description starts with the general rules concerning payment of wages. It then briefly discusses the pre-Covid regulations. The third pa-ragraph deals with the Covid-specific measures in detail. Attention will be paid to their near constant fine-tuning. In the fourth paragraph, an alternative way to reduce costs and the reac-tion of judges in court will be discussed, while paragraph 5 contains the concluding remarks.