Collective redress and workers' rights in the Netherlands

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This contribution discusses the Dutch possibilities of collective redress in the domain of labour law. More specifically, it examines the legal options of bringing collective actions and obtaining collective redress in Dutch courts in labour cases, and elaborates on the relevant legal framework as well as the extent to which these opportunities have been used in practice. Findings imply that the Netherlands was among one of the first European countries to introduce a general collective action system. This general collective action regime allows unions and other interest groups to raise cases to protect workers’ rights, even outside the scope of collective labour agreements. Such a collective action regime, however, is not commonly used in practice. Nevertheless, as of January 2020 the admissibility criteria for this general collective redress mechanism have been expanded and it has become an ‘opt-out’ regime, without the need for individual workers to initiate individual follow-up proceedings in the event of a successful case. The latter could improve the effective enforcement of workers’ rights in practice and could provide an incentive for trade unions and other organisations that are active in the protection of workers’ rights to incite a collective action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-474
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Labour Law Journal
Issue number4
Early online date23 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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