The Netherlands Takes Action To Make Remote Work A Legal Right

Several high-level Apple executives resigned after a three-day-a-week return-to-the-office policy was announced earlier this year, and slated to go into effect in late May. The company walked back the implementation, stating that the rising number of COVID-19 cases put employees’ safety at risk, but it seems it’s really because the employees didn’t want to return.

It appears that the Netherlands is learning from US employers’ missteps.

On July 5, 2022, the Dutch parliament voted to mandate companies to “carefully consider” requests for remote work from employees. “If the boss denies it, the company will have to explain why under the proposed legislation, which is poised to become law after the senate approves it,” Inc. reported.

This decision comes at a time when workers have overwhelmingly favored remote work over being in the office despite decreasing COVID numbers. Pew Research reported that 61 percent of people working from home were making that choice, but not necessarily because their offices weren’t open. They reported being more comfortable working from home, having a better work/ life balance and saving money due to not having to make a daily commute.

Conversely, Microsoft found that 50 percent of companies want their employees to work from the office full-time again despite lack of workers’ support.

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