New rules and laws for businesses from 1 July 2024

Business owners face new laws, legislative changes and regulations from 1 July 2024. For example, the minimum wage goes up, caps must be attached to plastic drink bottles and electric company car drivers will soon need a truck driving licence.

July 2024

Minimum wage increases

Do you employ staff and pay the minimum wage? From 1 July, the legal minimum wage will go up by 3.1 per cent. You can find the gross amounts per month, week or day on the Government.nl website. The increase also applies to people receiving AOW or WW benefits. For example, the minimum wage for full-time workers aged 21 and over will rise from 13.27 euros to 13.68 euros per hour.

Truck driving licence mandatory in electric commercial vehicles

Do you use an electric van for your business? And does it weigh more than 3,500 and no more than 4,250 kilos? Then you will need a C1 driving licence to drive it. Currently, you can drive an electric van of that weight with driving licence B. That will be prohibited from 1 July 2024. This rule already applied to non-electric vans.

New laws and rules from July 2024
  • Minimum wage increases
  • Truck driving licence required in electric commercial vehicles
  • Special mopeds need licence plates
  • New quality requirements in childcare
  • Caps must be attached to plastic drink bottles

New quality requirements in childcare

To reduce work pressure and staff shortages, quality requirements for childcare will change on 1 July 2024. In daycare centres, you will be allowed to use trainee staff as ‘familiar faces’ (permanent employees).

For out-of-school care, there are three changes (in Dutch):

  1. You will soon be allowed to use more staff by calculating the total number of children per location instead of per group. This means you are allowed to divide children into smaller groups. This is better for their development. 
  2. Do you have several locations? Then you can combine them on school-free days without having to record this in the agreement with parents. This makes it easier to care for children and you need to keep fewer records.
  3. You can employ people with different knowledge or experience. These are employees with a different background or profession who you can use because of their quality or talent. Think of music, sports, or theatre.

Caps must be attached to plastic drink bottles

From 3 July, beverage manufacturers must ensure that caps are attached to plastic bottles and beverage containers. This rule reduces litter: you hand in the packaging for recycling. Because the cap is attached, it does not end up on the street or in nature.

October 2024

Pass on fewer collection costs

On 1 April 2024, the new Quality of Collection Services Act (Wet kwaliteit incassodienstverlening, Wki) went into effect. This law ensures that debt collection service providers, businesses that make sure people pay their debts, comply with stricter rules. From 1 October 2024, one rule will be added: they will be allowed to charge smaller amounts of money. For a bill lower than 266.67 euros, a collection service provider will be allowed to charge 40 euros in collection fees. If this happens every month, the collection costs add up to 240 euros (6X40 euros) in 6 months. And so a small debt can quickly become large. Soon, for monthly bills lower than 266.67 euros, a debt collecting agency will be allowed to charge:

  • 40 euros the first month.
  • 20 euros the other 5 months.

That means in 6 months a maximum of 140 euros in collection fees.

January 2025

Municipalities introduce zero-emission zones

From 2025, municipality may introduce zero-emission zones. Only vans and trucks driving without diesel or petrol will be allowed in these areas. Does your business use a van or truck running on petrol or diesel? And do you deliver goods to customers in an inner city? From 1 January 2025*, vans with emission class lower than Euro 5 will not be allowed to enter zero-emission zones. For vans with emission class Euro 6, this rule takes effect on 1 January 2028*. For some vans, there is still a transitional arrangement (in Dutch) until 2030. The emission class says something about how clean your vehicle is. The higher the emission class, the lower the emissions of harmful substances. You can find your vehicle's emission class via the zero-emission licence check (in Dutch).

*This date is not yet definitive

Special mopeds need licence plates

Do you sell special mopeds? From 1 January 2025, a special moped (in Dutch), a light vehicle weighing up to 25 kilos such as a BSO bus or a kickbike, must have a registration plate. This will allow everyone to see that the moped is allowed on the road. For special mopeds already on the road now, a transitional period applies. After the registration plate requirement is introduced, users have one year to register with the Netherlands Vehicle Authority, RDW (in Dutch).

How are laws made?

Making a law and enacting it is a process of many steps. Sometimes it takes a long time for a law to come into effect. Roughly speaking, the legislation process works like this. Ministries and the lower house of parliament ('Tweede Kamer') prepare laws. Once the lower house of parliament has approved a law, it goes to the upper house ('Eerste Kamer'). If the upper house accepts the proposal, the government publishes the new law in the 'Staatsblad' (Government Gazette).

The effective date of a law can be mentioned in the law itself. Or the law may state that the government will determine the effective date by Royal Decree (Koninklijk Besluit, KB). The KB is published in the Staatsblad.

Supervision and enforcement

In the Netherlands, several organisations are responsible for supervising and enforcing laws. 

Supervision

Several supervisory organisations check whether everyone complies with the law. Examples are the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (Financial Markets Authority, AFM), the Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, NVWA), and the Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg (Healthcare Inspectorate, IGZ).

Enforcers

Municipalities, police, and the Openbaar Ministerie (public prosecution, OM) enforce laws in several ways. Think of performing checks or providing information and advice.

Sanctions

If a person breaks a law, enforcement organisations can impose sanctions. These vary from a fine to a jail sentence. Which sanction applies depends on the gravity of the offence.