The Court of The Hague has recently made an interesting ruling on the application of the ‘Wet flexibel werken’ (Flexible Working Act), abbreviated as WFW.
Because renovation costs turned out higher than anticipated, an employee tried to take out a bigger mortgage. The respective mortgage provider stated that this was possible, but only if the employee’s working hours would be increased from 36 to 40 hours per week. The employee sent a request to the employer to work more hours, but the employer only rejected this request months later. Because the response to the request took so long, the employee assumed that on the basis of the WFW his working hours had been adjusted automatically. However, the judge instead ruled that the deadline to respond stated in the WFW does not apply to the government institution the employee worked for. For government institutions, alternative deadlines are instead regulated by the respective collective labor agreement. The judge also ruled that the employer was not entirely to blame for the late response, as a lot of changes were implemented in government institutions at the time. Moreover, it was ruled that the employer had the right to reject the request, as there was no room to give staff more working hours.
Court of The Hague, April 28, 2021; ECLI (abridged): 4532