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Employment & Pensions


For your business to be successful, you must manage your employees and their benefits as well as your employee representatives such as works councils and unions. Yet employment and pension law in Europe is extensive, complex and, at times, contradictory. European directives, national laws, European court decisions, local cases and precedent must all be taken into account by your management team. Our 280-strong group of sector specialists can help you navigate the maze of HR regulations, policy documents and other legal complexities you must contend with on a daily basis.

If your business crosses borders, you will be faced with additional legal hurdles before achieving the outcome you need. With a global network covering more than 30 countries, we can help solve your problems across all the jurisdictions in which you operate.

We work closely together in teams consisting of lawyers, tax lawyers, pension specialists and notaries. We assist our clients with, for example:

  • Drafting and amending of labour agreements, regulations and protocols
  • Special forms of cooperation, such as freelance contracts, on-call or 'zero hours' contracts, management contracts or contracts for professional services
  • Special legal relationships, as with (semi-)servants and statutory managers
  • Labour disputes, strikes
  • Reorganisations and relocations
  • Transfers of undertakings, outsourcing and payrolling
  • Remuneration, harmonisation of employment conditions, expat agreements, employee participation plans
  • Pension related questions
  • Disability and reintegration
  • Health & safety: working conditions, whistle-blowing regulations, sexual harassment, accidents at work
  • Equal treatment
  • Co-determination
  • Collective agreements (cao)
  • Employers’ liability and directors’ liability
  • Compliance and disciplinary law
  • Foreign Nationals Employment Act
  • Data Privacy
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The lawyers are "very thorough and able to react quickly”.

Chambers Europe-wide, 2020

"the advice is always very focused, providing a strategic, practical vision that is focused on the result”.

Chambers Europe-wide, 2020

"Aside from the quality of service, CMS is valued for its 'presence in many European countries'. The team offers the gamut of employment expertise and has a focus on the impact of new technologies on workplace relations."

The Legal 500, 2019

"Thoroughness, regardless of the complexity of the matter," adding that "each client matters and is important to them, and they provide smart solutions."

Chambers Europe, 2019

"They are very responsive, business-minded and reliable; it's a very good and very easy working relationship."

Chambers Europe, 2019

Multi-jurisdictional matters feature strongly in the repertoire of CMS’ team, which frequently handles strategic work, including on behalf of works councils.

The Legal 500, 2018

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    Employment Law

    In employment relationships, it is extremely important for all parties involved to lay down properly all the rights and obligations between them. This written record must always be up to date and in line with recent changes to the law and provisions in collective agreements (CAOs).

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    Our specialists of the CMS Expat Desk provide cross-border advice to (global) companies about international employees, also known as "expats".

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    Pension law is not always very transparent for employers and employees. It may be unclear if any pension commitments have been made, what they entail and whether they are being honoured. Other matters that also frequently arise are to do with the transfer value from one fund to another.

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    Work and Security Act

    The 'Wet Werk en Zekerheid' (translated literally: Work and Security Act) brings a radical change to the employment law in The Netherlands. The act came into force in phases during 2015 and 2016.

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    March 2019
    CMS Guide to Em­ploy­ment Is­sues in M&A Trans­ac­tions
    CMS Em­ploy­ment Prac­tice Area Group is pleased to share with you the 2019 edi­tion of the CMS Guide to Em­ploy­ment Is­sues in M&A Trans­ac­tions.While mer­gers and ac­quis­i­tions (M&A) tend to be led by cor­por­ate or tax law­yers, deal­ing ef­fect­ively with the em­ploy­ment law is­sues can sig­ni­fic­antly im­prove the chances of a suc­cess­ful trans­fer. The im­port­ance of em­ploy­ment law and the types of dif­fi­culties that arise de­pend on the nature of the in­di­vidu­al trans­ac­tion, but a fail­ure to ad­equately ex­am­ine the ex­ist­ing rights and ob­lig­a­tions between the tar­get com­pany and its staff can res­ult in ex­pens­ive em­ploy­ment claims, ad­min­is­trat­ive fines and oth­er li­ab­il­it­ies.The em­ploy­ment law­yers on the team must carry out due di­li­gence to identi­fy any po­ten­tial prob­lems with col­lect­ive bar­gain­ing agree­ments, mis­clas­si­fic­a­tion of em­ploy­ees (e.g. as freel­ance), pen­sion schemes, em­ploy­ee be­ne­fits, ac­crued and as-yet un­paid time off, ex­ist­ing leg­al claims and po­ten­tial leg­al claims. They can also help design lay­off and re­ten­tion strategies, en­sure reg­u­lat­ory com­pli­ance, har­mon­ise em­ploy­ment prac­tices in the new com­bined en­tity and deal with cross-bor­der clashes in em­ploy­ment cul­ture.This CMS Guide to Em­ploy­ment Is­sues in M&A Trans­ac­tions provides a com­pre­hens­ive over­view of the em­ploy­ment law re­quire­ments to be taken in­to ac­count when deal­ing with an M&A trans­ac­tion in any one of 31 jur­is­dic­tions. In­form­a­tion about cross-bor­der mer­gers can be found in a sep­ar­ate CMS guide.This guide of­fers a valu­able re­source to help with the plan­ning ne­ces­sary to man­age risk and avoid ma­jor prob­lems dur­ing every stage of the in­teg­ra­tion pro­cess. Should you need more de­tailed ad­vice, please reach out to your reg­u­lar CMS con­tact or send an e-mail to em­ploy­[email protected]­al.com. We have a proven track re­cord in un­der­stand­ing our cli­ents’ needs, and in de­liv­er­ing a pro­fes­sion­al and seam­less ser­vice. We will be happy to provide fur­ther ad­vice.The CMS Em­ploy­ment Team
    January 2019
    CMS Guides to Dis­missals
    CMS Em­ploy­ment Prac­tice Area Group is pleased to share with you the 2019 edi­tion of the Guides to Dis­missalsThe CMS Guides to Dis­missals are in­ten­ded to help em­ploy­ers an­ti­cip­ate the pos­sible courses of events when they de­cide to ter­min­ate an em­ploy­ment con­tract or dis­miss a man­aging dir­ect­or. The bet­ter pre­pared and in­formed the com­pany is, the easi­er the pro­cess is to handle for every­one in­volved. Dis­missals are not just ac­tions through which an em­ploy­ment re­la­tion­ship with a com­pany ends, they can also be a part of a lar­ger re­struc­tur­ing pro­cess, some­times in­clud­ing sev­er­al coun­tries.Our CMS Guides to Dis­missals provide an easy to use over­view of ter­min­a­tion pro­ced­ures for em­ploy­ees and man­aging dir­ect­ors across Europe, Asia and Lat­in Amer­ica. The first part of the Guides deals with ter­min­a­tion pro­ced­ures for em­ploy­ees and the second part for man­aging dir­ect­ors. The Guides are in­ten­ded to provide CMS’s in­ter­na­tion­al cli­ents with a sum­mary of loc­al laws across 33 coun­tries, mak­ing it easi­er to un­der­stand both the sim­il­ar­it­ies and dif­fer­ences between jur­is­dic­tions. If these Guides en­cour­age you to seek more de­tailed in­form­a­tion, please reach out to your reg­u­lar CMS con­tact or send an e-mail to em­ploy­[email protected]­al.com. We have a proven track re­cord in un­der­stand­ing our cli­ents’ needs, and in de­liv­er­ing a pro­fes­sion­al and seam­less ser­vice. We will be happy to provide fur­ther ad­vice.Please fill in the de­tails be­low to re­ceive a free copy of CMS Guide to Dis­missals:560340ht­tps://form.jot­formeu.com/902318824583601al­ways
    June 2020
    CMS Em­ploy­ment & Pen­sions Glob­al Bro­chure
    In the people busi­nessThe CMS net­work cov­ers 43 coun­tries with over 70 of­fices world­wide. We have the largest team of em­ploy­ment spe­cial­ists in Europe and a strong pres­ence in the Afric­an, Asi­an and Lat­in Amer­ic­an mar­kets.From ex­ec­ut­ive con­tracts and equal op­por­tun­it­ies, to re­struc­tur­ings and trans­fers of busi­nesses, em­ploy­ment and pen­sions law can be com­plex and, at times, con­tra­dict­ory. Dir­ect­ives, European court de­cisions, na­tion­al laws, loc­al cases and pre­ced­ent must all be taken in­to ac­count by your man­age­ment team. Our group of 450 sec­tor-fo­cused spe­cial­ists help cli­ents nav­ig­ate the maze of reg­u­la­tions, policies and oth­er leg­al com­plex­it­ies fa­cing com­pan­ies on a daily basis.


    Show only
    Say­ing good­bye to your long-term ill em­ploy­ee?
    Do not for­get to claim your com­pens­a­tion!
    27 April 2020
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to gov­ern­ment sup­port for em­ploy­ers and work­ers
    This ex­pert guide ex­plores the ways dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ments have at­temp­ted to al­le­vi­ate the stress the pan­dem­ic has im­posed on both em­ploy­ers and work­ers and en­sure busi­ness con­tinu­ity.
    19 June 2020
    Ma­jor changes to Dutch em­ploy­ment law in 2020 to carry huge fin­an­cial im­pact
    With all COV­ID-19 de­vel­op­ments in the first half of this year, one could al­most for­get that on 1 Janu­ary 2020 Dutch em­ploy­ment law has changed sig­ni­fic­antly. In this up­date we dis­cuss the three most im­pact­ful...
    Ma­jor changes to Dutch em­ploy­ment law in 2020 to carry huge fin­an­cial im­pact
    14 April 2020
    EU gov­ern­ments re­spond­ing with dy­nam­ic meas­ures to sup­port em­ploy­ees and...
    Con­fron­ted with the pro­spect of eco­nom­ic col­lapse in re­sponse to both the pan­dem­ic and re­stric­tions put in place to pro­tect cit­izens (e.g. quar­ant­ines, shop clos­ures, and re­stric­tions on travel), gov­ern­ments...
    June 2020
    CMS Em­ploy­ment & Pen­sions Glob­al Bro­chure
    10 April 2020
    Emer­gency le­gis­la­tion on hold­ing an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ings dur­ing pan­dem­ic
    On 8 April, Dutch le­gis­lat­ors sub­mit­ted a le­gis­lat­ive pro­pos­al to the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, which con­tains new tem­por­ary fa­cil­it­ies on hold­ing an­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ings. An­nu­al gen­er­al meet­ing are...
    Em­ploy­ment - What now and what after
    27 March 2020
    Man­aging clin­ic­al tri­als un­der COV­ID-19: New EU guid­ance is­sued for spon­sors...
    The COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic has had a dra­mat­ic im­pact on European health sys­tems, whose pri­or­ity first and fore­most is the treat­ment of pa­tients suf­fer­ing from this dis­ease both in the in-pa­tient and out-pa­tient...
    02 April 2020
    Key meas­ures to con­sider in op­tim­ising cash-flow man­age­ment dur­ing the...
    09 March 2020
    Dutch busi­ness faces new chal­lenges on em­ploy­ee meas­ures in face of COV­ID-19...
    COV­ID-19, the dis­ease as­so­ci­ated with the coronavir­us that has dom­in­ated glob­al news in re­cent weeks, is be­ing battled on many fronts with spe­cif­ic meas­ures de­signed to re­duce its ef­fects. Al­though...
    02 April 2020
    Corona Up­date Em­ploy­ers
    De­tails Emer­gency Fund pub­lished