Drawing up an employment agreement? These are the rules

Are you hiring staff? Since 1 August 2022, stricter rules apply to terms and conditions of employment. In the employment agreement, you must provide clear information on the main terms and conditions of employment. The rights and obligations of employer and employee have also been expanded. Read in this article which rules you have to comply with.

An employment agreement or contract contains the agreements between you and the employee, the so-called terms of employment. The contract includes details such as working hours, workplace and salary. You also lay down arrangements for working outside the agreed hours and changing shifts.

Important additional rules employment agreement

Are you going to draw up an employment agreement? Then strict rules apply in the areas of duty of information, training, ancillary activities, unpredictable work, and adjusting working hours. We have listed these rules for you. This is how you comply with the EU Directive on transparent and predictable terms of employment.

Obligation to provide information upon hiring

As an employer, you must provide clear information on the most important employment conditions and the rights and obligations of employer and employee at the start of employment. What information must you give in the employment agreement? Two examples:

  • If an employee does not have a (mainly) fixed workplace, you put in the employment agreement that the employee is (partly) free to determine the workplace. 
  • Is there a fixed number of hours and days your employee will work? Then you make clear agreements about working outside these working hours. You also state whether and how much extra pay the employee receives for working overtime.

See a full overview of exactly what information must be included in the employment agreement according to the EU directive.


As an employer, you must pay for mandatory training for your employee, such as a course to obtain a safety certificate.

Difference between compulsory training and in-service training

You are not obliged to pay for a diploma or certificate that the employee should already have at the start of employment. If you hire a plumber who does not have the right plumbing diploma, the applicant has to pay the cost of this training himself. It is different when you already employ a plumber who needs to learn new skills to obtain a mandatory safety certificate. In the latter case, you have to pay the cost of the required training.

Pay compulsory training hours

The time your employee spends on compulsory training or a course is working time. Even if the course takes place in the evening, you have to pay your employee for those hours.

Training your staff

Training your staff costs money. Check out the subsidy possibilities.

Other activities

You may no longer prohibit employees from doing work for another employer, unless you have a good reason. For example, if it poses a business risk to an employee's health or safety. Or if there is a risk of leaking company information (in Dutch).

The lifting of the ban on ancillary activities does not affect the non-compete clause. With a non-compete clause, you ensure that an employee will not go to work for a competitor if they quit your company.

Unpredictable work

Do your employees have an unpredictable work pattern, as is often the case with on-call workers? If so, you should lay down in the employment agreement on which days and in which time periods you can call up the employee. Calls outside these days or time periods may be refused by the employee.

Adjusting working hours

An employee with varying working hours who has been employed for at least 26 weeks may request more predictable working hours. The employee may ask to adjust the schedule and working hours. As an employer, you must respond to this in writing with reasons within 1 month. Employers with fewer than 10 employees have 3 months to respond.

Look at an overview of all the details and agreements you need to put in the employment agreement.

Employment agreement example

Would you like to know what an employment agreement looks like? On the website of werk.nl you will find 2 examples of a fixed-term and an indefinite employment agreement (in Dutch).