Design or assessment of new working time regulations

Working time regulations are drawn up to regulate the working hours and break times within an organisation. They are often set out in a staff handbook or in the company’s employment conditions. In case of a reorganisation, a new law or a new shift planning method (e.g., self-rostering), the working time regulations will need to be updated and revised. But before an employer can make any changes to the working time regulations, they have to submit an endorsement request to the works council first.

Analysis and advice

Why do we have working time regulations?

In article 27 of the Works Councils Act (WOR), it says a Dutch works council has a right of endorsement concerning any regulations about working hours and break times or holiday entitlements. In principle, therefore, a Dutch works council has to endorse any proposal for an introduction or change of working time regulations before it can be implemented.

These regulations can cover all types of issues, such as:

  • the normal work times (also for standard shifts);
  • the rules for non-standard shifts (e.g., night shifts, on-call shifts, standby shifts, or weekend shifts);
  • the rules about applying for leave and taking holidays;
  • a description of the shift planning method, and the allocation of tasks, responsibilities and authorities associated with the rostering process;
  • and any rules about such issues as swapping shifts, part-time work, overtime, and breaks.

Support for the design or assessment of new working time regulations

The formulation of working time regulations is a time-consuming and a meticulous process because there are so many laws and statutory regulations on working hours and break times. Any existing arrangements laid down in a collective labour agreement or at an organisational level also play an important role. The consultants of Déhora are very skilled and experienced in explaining and interpreting the laws and regulations in the field of working hours.

Depending on your specific needs, our consultants can help you with the following:

  • advice on and assess new working time regulations;
  • develop suitable working time regulations, together with shift planning models and guidelines;
  • assess the working time regulations for compliance with laws and regulations, such as the Working Hours Act and collective labour agreements;
  • evaluate the feasibility and life-cycle of the regulations.