Universiteit Leiden

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Flexible employment benefits offered more often

In an attempt to retain employees and tackle shortages in the labour market, some employers are now prepared to go further in offering attractive employment benefits. Dutch news programme 'Nieuwsuur' has discovered that large international companies, like Uber, McKinsey, and Salesforce, are prepared to pay for freezing employees’ embryos. In the United States, this is already offered by 20% of large employers.

McKinsey Amsterdam is proud that its female employees are supported not only psychologically, but also financially. Stefan Sagel, attorney-at-law and Professor of Labour Law in Leiden, commented on RTL nieuws that this is possible according to law.

Employers may interfere to a limited extent in the private lives of their employees, especially if this benefits employees. But it's not allowed if a company has a collective bargaining agreement. After all, it can't just change that collective agreement itself.'


Whether companies may impose conditions on receiving a certain employment benefit depends on those requirements. 'It may be reasonable to say: you have to work here for at least four years for that benefit. If you leave sooner, you’ll have to pay part of it back,' Sagel adds. 'But if you say: you can't get pregnant for the next five years, then that clearly won't pass the test of labour law.'

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