Netherlands announces change in working hours

Changes have been made to the Dutch Working Hours Act to legitimise longer hours in some circumstances.

The amendments, which came into force on 1 April 2007, mean that workers who are not covered by a collective agreement will be able to work up to a maximum of 12 hours per day, 60 hours per week.

Those workers who are covered by a collective agreement will not be subject to these new limits until their collective agreement comes up for renewal.

Dutch employers have welcomed the changes as giving them greater flexibility in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Predictably, the relevant trade unions have been less than enthusiastic about the changes.

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