A proactive approach to navigate the maze of regulations and ensure employment law compliance

Our highly experienced Employment & Pensions team advises on remuneration policies, executive appointments and dismissals, regulations and protocols, pension law, employment taxes as well as health and safety in the workplace, ESG issues such as diversity and inclusion and matters relating to whistleblower claims and procedures, workplace misconduct and insolvency proceedings. We also assist in contacts with trade unions and guide our clients through the employment law implications of mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, restructurings, management buy-outs and outsourcing. Our team consists of experienced litigators in each of these areas and is equipped to handle landmark cases.

  • What we do

    We provide innovative, practical legal expertise and solutions for all types of employment and pension matters. As a trusted partner, we advise many multinationals, Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg companies, governments, and financial institutions. We often work across sectors and disciplines to address complex and multidisciplinary issues. Our clients around the world also value our European regulatory expertise. Although our Employment & Pensions teams are based in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, we work with foreign firms on cross-border issues for companies around the world.

    Our lawyers frequently publish and speak at seminars and conferences on the latest developments in employment and pensions law. Several of our lawyers are members of relevant government advisory committees. Because our experts are informed of new legislation before it is enacted, we can proactively provide our clients with expert advice to facilitate a swift and smooth transition.

  • Our experience

    We have extensive experience in all aspects of employment law compliance, including whistleblowing policies, claims and investigations, works council and trade union issues, outsourcing, pensions, data protection, discrimination/ harassment issues, flexible work and working relationships with independent contractors. This enables us to analyse issues quickly, taking into account the latest case law and developments. As a result, we can often resolve issues before they become problems.

  • Work highlights
    • Assisting private equity firm Advent International with its EUR 3,7 billion major acquisition of DSM's engineering materials business and its joint venture with German listed specialty chemicals company LANXESS.
    • Advising Accell on its information and consultation obligations in relation to the recommended public offer for Accell's shares, navigating a challenging landscape of actively involved trade unions and works councils.
    • Advising PZEM on the restructuring of its wholesale activities, ranging from advising on strategy and processes to conducting discussions with the works council and employees.
    • Assisting McDermott International with the employment aspects of a major restructuring, including consultations with the works council.
    • Advising an IT platform in respect of a whistleblowing claim.
    • Assisting central works council of Johnson & Johnson with the amendment of its pension scheme as a result of the new pension legislation.
    • Litigate for the Dutch Financial Regulator AFM up until the High Court regarding a unilateral change to the AFM pension scheme (landmark case).
    • Acting as a trusted advisor to Reckitt Benckiser on its Dutch employment and pension law matters.
    • Advising (central) works councils of EasyJet, Park Now and Sitech on disputes and advising on consultation and advisory processes for large corporate events.
    • Advising an organisation in the financial sector in relation to a whistleblower’s report of irregularities in the handling of an employee’s claims.
  • What others say
    • 'Strong involvement in cases and excellent legal knowledge. They are able to translate - sometimes complex - legal concepts into understandable and practical explanations.’
      The Legal 500 2023
    • 'A team that is fully in tune with what is happening in the market at the relevant time, and is hardworking, flexible, knowledgeable, pragmatic, helps us to get deals done and always ensures that we get the right advice at the right time.’
      The Legal 500 2023
    • ‘The contact is personal and fast. The advice is sound. The lawyer takes the time to give clear and simple explanations and is very open to discussion.’
      The Legal 500 2022
    • ‘Their business acumen is much appreciated.’
      The Legal 500 2022
    • ‘Very responsive and pragmatic team, always available to help, and always giving us the feeling that they put everything aside to assist us. High expertise and insight into the likelihood and outcome of legal scenarios.‘
      The Legal 500 2022
    • ‘Very approachable.’
      Chambers Europe 2022

The team specialises in

  • Employment & taxation

    Employment law and tax law are closely intertwined. To provide the best solutions for our clients, our teams of specialists work together on all aspects of employment and tax law. Our tax lawyers have extensive knowledge of all types of levies, duties, taxes and social security contributions, including international aspects. Together, we provide integrated advice to both employers and employees on a wide range of payroll and tax issues, such as benefits in kind, share schemes, internal secondments and specialist expatriate schemes. Our team also assists clients with tax and social security audits and litigation.

  • Equality and anti-discrimination

    The right to equal treatment in the workplace is becoming increasingly important. This includes equal pay: basic pay as well as any additional bonuses and benefits. It also prohibits an employer from making distinctions because of gender in recruitment and selection procedures, in the initiation or termination of employment contracts, and in the provision of training opportunities, benefits and other forms of compensation.

    The law also prohibits employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of age or the type or duration of the employment contract (fixed or indefinite). Age discrimination is a topical issue, including the discussion of early retirement, the granting of age-related leave and the inclusion of specific measures for older employees in redundancy plans. Our team has extensive experience in these areas, particularly in the drafting of redundancy plans and policies, and in dispute resolution in general. More recently, the team has also been involved in AI and discrimination claims.

  • Outsourcing

    Our employment and pensions expertise includes complex outsourcing and localisation issues. We help clients understand these transactions and minimise the legal implications. Our lawyers are experienced in overseeing the transfer of staff and are familiar with issues such as information and consultation mechanisms. We work closely with our clients to develop new ways of carrying out outsourcing transactions and to mitigate the impact of transfer legislation.

  • Redundancy plans & individual dismissals

    We have extensive experience in advising on redundancy plans and individual dismissals, as well as handling contractual and director disputes. We frequently deal with mass redundancy issues and are involved in negotiations with works councils and trade unions. Although our lawyers act primarily for employers, they also represent employees, particularly senior executives, and directors. We also deal with social security and tax issues in conjunction with our tax team.

  • Remuneration & pensions

    We provide a full range of legal services relating to employee benefits and pensions, including supervisory and tax policies. Our highly skilled team advises employers, pension funds and insurers on group and individual pension schemes and any disputes arising from them. We also assist clients in the development of pension and related schemes. We closely monitor new developments and changes in pensions legislation law. We cover everything from pension fund governance and assisting in the exploration of new pension structures to providing integrated advice on pension plan change management and cross-border pension issues.

  • Restrictive covenants

    Non-compete, non-solicitation, non-recruitment, ancillary works, and confidentiality clauses are known as 'restrictive covenants' in international employment law. Such covenants often give rise to disputes between the employer and the (former) employee. Our team has extensive experience in drafting and advising on such clauses. We frequently advise clients on their enforceability. We also work closely with our Intellectual Property team on issues such as the protection of trade secrets and the commercial activities of former employees.

  • Transgressive behavior and whistleblowers

    Providing a safe and positive working environment is essential for any business. Our team has extensive experience in dealing with highly sensitive and confidential matters in the corporate environment. Our lawyers advise organisations on their whistleblower policies and how to deal with whistleblower claims and investigations. We advise on issues relating to transgressive behavior, fraud, harassment, and misconduct in general. Our specialists frequently publish and speak on these issues and are often used as a sounding board for government on legislation in this area.

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