Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in our society. The call for sustainability is also becoming louder in the workplace. More and more, we see employers putting sustainability (high) on the agenda. A recent example of this is the emergence of the so-called ”green employment contract.”
THE GREEN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
A green employment contract contains employment conditions that reward sustainable choices. For example:
• Offering a vegetarian lunch
• A higher mileage allowance if you come to the office by bike or public transport instead of commuting by car
• More holiday pay or more holidays if you go on holiday in a sustainable way (not by plane, but by foot, bike or public transport)
• Planting trees for every hour of overtime
• Bonus scheme for solar panels or other sustainability improvements to your home, or the option to donate your bonus to charity
• Time for community service and volunteering through flexible working hours or extra days off
Although green employment conditions sound nice and are often introduced with the best intentions, there are some employment law and tax snags. As an employer, you cannot just unilaterally change existing (non-sustainable) terms of employment. Changing terms of employment unilaterally generally requires a substantial interest or consent of the employee. In addition, unilaterally changing terms of employment can lead to unequal treatment of employees.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Would you like to know more about the ins and outs of introducing green employment conditions or changing (non-sustainable) employment conditions, among other things? Then read the article by our colleague Margot Hoving in the Journal of Labour Law Practice 2022/268 or come to our seminar. Want to spar about what is possible? Feel free to contact us for advice.
EMPLOYER BRANDING SEMINAR
On February 9, 2023 from 14.30-16.30 we will organise a seminar on Employer Branding at our office on the Herengracht. In addition to green employment conditions, this seminar will also cover topics such as attracting and retaining employees, and a safe working environment. There are still a few places available! You can still register via this link.