Rules and regulations: changes for businesses as of 1 July 2022

As of 1 July 2022, businesses will have to deal with new laws and regulations. For example, the VAT on energy will decrease, probably until the end of this year. Large companies also have to pay their bills to small entrepreneurs within 30 days, and some business forms are given the option of protecting the visiting address of their company in the event of a (possible) threat. Here are the most important changes to the law as of 1 July 2022.

1. VAT on energy down to 9%

The Dutch government has decided to lower the energy tax, as compensation for the high price of gas in the Netherlands. VAT on energy (natural gas, electricity, and district heating) is reduced from 21 to 9%. This VAT reduction on energy is expected to remain in force until 31 December 2022.

The effective date for this amendment is not yet final.*

2. Legal payment term for large companies reduced from 60 to 30 days

Do you have large companies as clients? The legal payment term for large companies to pay invoices of smaller businesses is to be reduced from 60 to 30 days. This means you will have your money sooner, which gives you more financial leeway.

The effective date for this amendment is not yet final.*

3. Shielding your visiting address in the Business Register in case of (potential) threat

It will be made possible to shield your business visiting address in the Business Register, if there is a (potential) threat to yourself or someone who shares your address. Shielding your address is possible under 2 circumstances:

  1. In case of a concrete threat. This also applies if the address is not a home address.
  2. For persons who face a probable threat, for example due to their profession.

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK is drawing up agreements with professional organisations, so that requests for preventive shielding can be handled faster. Due to European legislation, preventive shielding is not possible for private limited companies (bv's) and public limited companies (nv's).

Even though the new regulation has not yet come into effect, KVK already shields visiting addresses on request, in case of a threat or potential threat.

The effective date for this amendment is not yet final.*

4. Ban on tobacco advertising in shops

As of 1 July 2022, the Tobacco act (‘Tabaks- en rookwarenwet’) changes. Shops will no longer be allowed to advertise tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and e-liquids. This includes advertising outside your shop (wall signs) or shop window displays.

Some specialist stores are exempt

Some stores are exempt from the advertising ban inside their shop, on condition that the tobacco advertising is not visible outside their premises. These specialist shops have to be registered at the Netherlands Food and Consumer Goods Authority (NVWA).

Find out what the rules are for tobacco sales.

5. Statutory minimum wage increases

Do you employ staff? The gross amount for the minimum wage will increase on 1 July 2022.

The statutory gross minimum wage (wettelijk brutominimumloon, WML) for employees 21 years of age and older with full employment will be increased from 1 July 2022 to:

  • €1,756.20 per month
  • €405.30per week
  • €81.06 per day

From 2023, the statutory minimum wage will increase in stages. Ultimately, the wage increase will be 7.5%.

6. New laws after 1 July 2022

Good to know: these laws come into effect later this year.

1. Setting up a bv possible through a video connection (1 August 2022)

As of 1 August 2022 it will be possible to set up a private limited company (bv) online. Setting up a bv digitally means drawing up a digital deed. You will no longer have to appear at the notary’s office in person. You can draw up the deed through a digital audio and video connection. The notary takes care of the identification requirement using a digital ID. You sign the deed using a digital signature.

The effective date for this amendment is not yet final.*

2. Employer provides clear working conditions (1 August 2022)

Employers must provide clear and predictable working conditions. What this means:

  • your duty to inform employees is extended. Per 1 August 2022, you must inform them in writing about the duration and conditions of the trial period, holiday and leave arrangements, work location(s), the possible right to training, the composition of the wages, and how termination of the employment contract works;
  • you may be bound by law or a collective labour agreement (CAO) to offer your employees certain types of training. The employer must pay for these trainings, and employees must be able to take the training during working hours;
  • you are not allowed to stop an employee from working for another employer outside their working hours. Unless you have valid grounds, such as protecting company information or avoiding conflicts of interest;
  • after a minimum of 26 weeks in your employ, employees are allowed to ask for work with more predictable working conditions. An employee may make such a request once per year. The employer must send a written and motivated response within a month. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may take 3 months to reply;
  • employers have to document on which days or during which span of hours they can call up employees with unpredictable working hours (on-call employees). The employee is allowed to refuse calls outside of these working days or hour.

The law implementing the EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions ('Wet implementatie EU-richtlijn transparante en voorspelbare arbeidsvoorwaarden') is expected to enter into effect on 1 August 2022. The effective date is not yet final.*

3. Parental leave partly paid (2 August 2022)

The amendment to the Paid parental leave Act ('Wet betaald ouderschapsverlof', Wbo) enters into force on 2 August 2022. Parents will receive compensation for the first 9 of the 26 weeks parental leave. The compensation is increased from 50 to 70% of the daily wages. An employee must take the paid leave during the first year after the child is born. Employees can take the rest of the 17 weeks’ parental leave until the child’s 8th birthday, just like they can now. This final part of the parental leave is unpaid, unless the employer and employees have made different arrangements in their company or collective labour agreement.

4. Measures to improve quality in construction projects (1 January 2023)

To better safeguard the quality in construction projects and protect private and business customers, new measures will come into force. Construction companies will be required to hire the services of an independent and certified quality controller. The liability for hidden defects will change: the construction company is to remain liable for defects only discovered by the customer after the moment of completion. This is unless the construction company or builder did not cause the defects.

The law to improve quality in the construction sector ('Wet kwaliteitsborging voor het bouwen', Wkb) is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2023.

The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

5. Shorter processing time for building projects with the Environmental and Planning Act (1 January 2023)

The new Environmental and Planning Act ('Omgevingswet') will make it easier to check if a building project meets all the requirements in one go. 26 existing regulations for space, living, infrastructure, environment, nature, and water will become 1 act. This should lead to faster and cheaper decision-making, simplification of rules, and an end to unnecessary rules. Once the Environmental and Planning Act comes into force, all municipalities must be connected to the digitised system 'Digitaal Stelsel Omgevingswet' (DSO).

The Environmental and Planning Act is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2023. This effective date is not yet final.*

7. Amendments January through June 2022

These are the main new laws and amendments until 1 July 2022:

How are laws made?

Sometimes a new law or an amendment is announced, and then does not go ahead, or the effective date is postponed. Why do some announced laws come into effect, while others do not?

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'). They can only accept or reject the law. 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.

As the legislative process consists of many steps, it can take a while before a proposed law enters into effect. Changes in the composition of the lower and upper houses of parliament can also affect the progress. If there is a caretaker cabinet in place ('demissionair cabinet'), it will only handle current affairs and not take any major decisions. 

You will find all new laws and amendments that matter to entrepreneurs on Business.gov.nl, including the effective date and whether or not the law is final.

Business.gov.nl is an initiative of the Ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK).

* Entry into force is subject to its passing through the upper and lower houses of parliament or proclamation of the Order in Council ('Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur', AMvB) or ministerial decree and publication in the 'Staatsblad' or 'Staatscourant' (Government Gazette, in Dutch).

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