Prohibition on sideline activities only with a good reason

With effect from 1 August 2022, you may no longer bar your employees from doing work alongside their job with you unless you have a good reason. That reason need not be in writing in advance: you can also give it at a later date. The new rules also apply to previously agreed sideline activities.

By early 2022, 362,000 workers had a second job in addition to their salaried job. This could be work for their own company, voluntary work, or work for another company. Until 1 August 2022, you could still quite easily prohibit your employees from doing other work alongside their jobs. With the advent of the new  European directive on transparent and predictable working conditions , this will become a lot more difficult. 

Sideline activities clause

An employer will soon no longer be able to prohibit an employee from working for others outside the employment contract. As an employer, you may agree a ban on sideline activities only if you have a legitimate reason for doing so. Reasons could include health and safety, the need to ensure the confidentiality of company information, the avoidance of conflicts of interest, or the need to prevent the employee from working more hours than are allowed under the Working Hours Act. 

You can agree on the sideline activities clause verbally or in writing. An employer can give an objective reason orally or in writing afterwards, for example at the time they want to enforce the ban. 

Existing agreement

A clause covering sideline activities in an existing contract that does not contain an objective reason is still valid. If, as an employer, you invoke the clause after 1 August 2022, you must be able to give an objective reason to your employee. If you have no good reason to keep the clause in place, the clause is no longer valid. Your employee can then perform sideline activities without violating the clause. 


Check your clauses covering sideline activities. Do you have a good reason that justifies enforcing the ban? If so, the clause remains valid. If you do not, you can no longer hold an employee to the prohibition. With new employees, lay down the new rules in an employment contract. The new rules should be in line with the law.