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An on-call employee (oproepkracht) is one who only comes to work when called upon to do so. If you work with on-call employees in the Netherlands, the rules with which you must comply depend on the type of employment contract you have with them. For instance, there are rules with regard to payment when no work is available, minimum hours guarantee or minimum wages for hours worked.
Types of on-call contracts
Zero-hours contract: worked hours only
- The on-call employee is required to work when called upon.
- They only get paid for the actual hours they have worked.
- Each time you call up an on-call employee, you must pay them a minimum of 3 hours' wages.
Min.-max. contract: guaranteeed working hours
- The employee is required to work at least a minimum number of hours, weekly, monthly or annually, the so-called guarantee hours.
- During peak periods employers and employees may agree upon extra hours, but they are not guarantee hours
- Employers always pay their employees the guarantee hours, even if they are unable to provide them with work
- If your employee is only guaranteed 15 hours or less per week and has no fixed hours of work, then each time you call them up, you must pay them a minimum of 3 hours' wages.
Contract with fixed number of working hours
If your on-call employee works at least 3 consecutive months, the average number of hours in that period are considered to be the guaranteed hours per month. This may result in a regular work pattern, with which your employee may demand an average number of working hours per week or a higher number of guarantee hours. If, in your opinion, this is an unreasonable demand, because the high number of working hours is due to a peak period, you must be able to prove this with written agreements or preceding working time tables.
Continued pay during sickness
On-call employees are entitled to continued pay during sickness. How much and for how long depends on their type of contact.
Continued pay during slow periods
On-call employees are entitled to continued pay when their employer temporarily cannot offer work. How much and for how long depends on their type of contact.
Exclusion of continued pay during slow periods
Employers can exclude the right to continued pay when they cannot provide their on-call emplyees with work. They can do this for a maximum of 6 months, unless their collective labour agreement allows otherwise.