Working from home: your employees' rights

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Statistics Netherlands, CBS
Statistics Netherlands, CBS

If your employees (partly) work from home, it involves multiple rules and obligations. For example, the Working Conditions Act (Arbowet) also applies to the home workplace. And you are not allowed to monitor your employees. They have a right to privacy.

What is working from home and hybrid working?

Employees who work from home do the work that they would normally do in an office or a joint workplace at home. Employees who work in hybrid form do their work partly at home and partly at the office.

Encourage hybrid working

During the corona pandemic, many employees worked from home. The pandemic is over but the Dutch government still encourages hybrid working (in Dutch). Because working from home has advantages, like less travel time and costs. Discuss with your employees what they need for hybrid working. And make clear agreements about this.

Are employees entitled to work from home?

Working from home is not a legal right. However, according to the Flexible Working Act, your employees may submit a written request to work (partly) from home. For example, because they are concerned about their health. You must have a good reason for refusing such a request.

Examples of good reasons are:

  • Working from home causes problems with the work schedule.
  • The work cannot be done elsewhere.
  • The home workplace is not safe or suitable for work.

There are also conditions for employees who want to work from home:

  • The company must have a minimum of 10 employees.
  • The employee must have been employed for at least six months.
  • The employee must submit a written request no later than 2 months before the desired start date.

Read more about when employees are allowed to work from home (in Dutch) on

Working conditions law for working from home

Employees must also be able to do their work safely and properly at home. That is why health and safety rules apply to working from home. For example, you should provide a good home workplace, as far as reasonable. And provide information about how employees can work safely and healthily.

Read more about the Working Conditions Act for working from home.

Allowance for working from home

When employees work from home, they have additional costs that they do not have at the office. More costs for heating, water, electricity, but also tea, coffee, and toilet paper. You can reimburse these costs tax-free with a working from home allowance (thuiswerkvergoeding) of € 2.35 per day in 2024. This is indexed annually.

Can you monitor employees when they work from home?

There are several options for monitoring your employees. For example, tracking software to verify what employees are doing on their computers. Although it is not always forbidden to monitor your employees, you are not allowed to just use tracking software. Employees have a right to privacy.

You must always comply with the privacy law. You must also be able to clearly explain why monitoring is necessary. And why the interests of the company outweigh the privacy of your employees. This may differ from case to case.

Read more about the monitoring of employees (in Dutch) at the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

Information security

Working from home creates risks to the security of company information. These risks are different from when your employee only works in the office. For example, if your employee uses their own mobile phone, this could be a risk. Because the security settings are not as good as those on a company phone. It is also important that your employees know that there are risks.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recommends taking extra measures to prevent a data breach, for example. Create a clear policy. Then everyone will know what is and is not allowed. For example, you can make the following agreements:

  • Use strong passwords.
  • Do not leave computers unattended, not even at home.
  • Make sure the network is safe, with secure connections.
  • Install security software, such as anti-virus software.
  • Make agreements on which apps and services your employees are allowed to use.

Read more about security when working from home.

Facts and figures: working from home

The graph shows the number of people who (sometimes) work from home compared to the total working population. The number of people working from home has risen slightly in recent years.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK