Universiteit Leiden

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Empirical Legal Studies

Good employment practices in relation to employee well-being

Both good employer practices and good employee practices are open norms. These open norms can lead to uncertainty about what employers should focus on and what rights (and obligations) employees have in that respect. The objective of this study is to give substance to the norm of good employment practices in relation to employee wellbeing.

There is extensive social science literature on the influence of work-related factors on the wellbeing of employees. This line of research builds on Helen Pluut's earlier research into employee mental wellbeing and specifically how work and home affect each other. This interdisciplinary, empirical research draws on social science insights about the factors that influence employee wellbeing. An understanding of possible discrepancies between what organisations are expected to focus on and what actually has an impact could help legislators and judges. These insights could be useful for legislators for the regulation of the behaviour of employers and for judges for the further interpretation of Article 7:611 of the Dutch Civil Code in the event of behaviour that is potentially contrary to good employment practices.

Part of this research line is a research project on working from home. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, many people were forced to work at home. It seems that working from home will continue to become more common in the future. This brings new challenges for both employees and employers. What consequences does working from home have for employees, for example in terms of wellbeing and productivity? And what does it mean to be a good employer in times of working from home? In this research, we compare the current legal framework around working from home with results from empirical studies conducted during the pandemic. Do these findings fit with the current legal framework? And if not, what adjustments or additions are necessary? The aim of this study is to come up with recommendations for the interpretation of the standard of good employment practices for employees working from home.

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