The changes arising from the Wnra

The implementation of the Civil Servants (Normalisation of Legal Status) Act (Wet normalisering rechtspositie ambtenaren, Wnra) will end the special appointment status of most civil servants. This situation will give rise to many changes. How will the Wnra affect legal status regulations? What are the implications of the Wnra for the rules governing dismissal? Mazars is keen to offer insight into the most important changes.

Collective labour agreement to replace legal status regulations

Under the Wnra, unilateral civil-servant appointments will be replaced by bilateral employment contracts. In most cases, a collective labour agreement (CAO) will apply, which will replace the legal status regulations for civil servants. The current regulations will remain in force until a new CAO has been established. Due to the unclear nature of this transitional law, there can be cause for discussion, conflicts and legal insecurity. The government or respective employer will determine with which trade union it concludes a CAO and is no longer held to negotiate with specific partners, as with legal status regulations. The current Central and Local Government Personnel Act (Ambtenarenwet) will be significantly restricted and many arrangements will cease to apply. In future, such arrangements must also be established in a CAO or Personnel Manual. 

Private labour law and regulations governing dismissal of civil servants

Instead of being covered by administrative law, the vast majority of civil servants will henceforth be subject to standard civil law. This change will have significant consequences relating to both the content and the procedural aspects of regulations governing dismissal, among other things. Dismissal matters will no longer fall within the jurisdiction of the administrative courts, for example. The designated authorities will be the Employee Insurance Administration (UWV) for cases involving dismissal for economic reasons or long-term illness and the sub-district court for cases involving dismissal on personal grounds. Prior assessment by the UWV or the sub-district court is mandatory. Furthermore, the Wnra will introduce the possibility for this target group of dismissal during a probationary period and immediate dismissal. These possibilities demand a different approach to personnel policy and appropriate file management. Local dismissal regulations will no longer apply for cases involving reorganisation. Here again, uniform dismissal regulations will apply to all government employers. 

Transition payment and enhanced unemployment benefit

Following the standardisation, civil servants will be entitled to a transition payment, possibly resulting in double entitlements such as a partial entitlement to enhanced unemployment benefit. Present appointments, commitments, decisions and agreements relating to terms of employment must be reviewed. These provisions can then be updated or adjusted as required before the new legislation enters into force in January 2020. After this date, terms of employment may in principle only be adjusted with the employee's consent. 

Want to know more?

If you want to find out more about the Wnra, you can contact Richard Ouwerling, lawyer at Pellicaan Advocaten (by email  or by phone on +31 (0)88 627 22 87) or Martin Aandewiel, tax adviser at Mazars (by email  or by phone on +31 (0)88 277 13 96). They will be happy to assist.

Civil Servants Act


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