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European Employment Law

European employment law

  • HRO

The body of laws which govern the employer-employee relationship tend to be complex and typically vary from one European country to the other. If you are considering hiring in Europe, you thus have to be aware of the differences in European employment law. The current 28 EU member states all have their unique characteristics when it comes to statutory regulations. Hence, the set of laws that deal with the rights of employees and the responsibilities of employers can differ vastly from one EU state to the other.

Employer Costs

For instance, hiring in the various EU member states costs employers differently, depending on the employment laws. The employer contributions towards social security for a hire in Italy or France are much higher than for instance in the UK or Germany. It is prudent that International Companies keep this in mind when expanding their teams in the various regions in EU. This could help them negotiate the compensation package with their new hires in the specific country. To attract the right candidate and set the right tone during hiring and onboarding, employers should pay attention to what an employee in a particular country is used to receiving in an offer.

Hiring and firing processes

Let’s take France as an example: employment relationships are primarily regulated by the labour code (Code du Travail), as well as collective agreements, internal regulations and practice. Various sources have noted that although less than 10% of the national workforce in France are members of a trade union, around 95% of its employees are covered by some form of industry sector collective agreement. These agreements provide the vast majority of terms and conditions of employment. Within European employment law, Belgium and Italy are other examples of counties strictly regulated by complex statutory rules, regulations and collective agreements.

In addition to the hiring process, terminations under each jurisdiction within the EU states may look different from one to the other. In the Netherlands for instance, you cannot unilaterally terminate a permanent employment contract. That is the reason why most employment contracts in the Netherlands start off being for definite terms.

How EuroDev can help

So, despite being the European Union states – each state does carry with it its own unique nuances and one size does not fit all. To ensure that you are well informed about European employment law and to make the right decisions suited for your individual situation, you can reach out to our experienced team at EuroDev. For more information, please contact our COO, Edward Nijland.

Request a call with Edward


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