Learning path Dutch labour law and HRM for contemporary management (in English)

Module 5

One-day workshop "Deep dive 3: Organizational change, reorganization, merger and takeover in the Netherlands"

For whom

Many organizations feel compelled to reorganize, due to financial pressure or for other business reasons. That is a complex job for all involved: management, HR and employees. You have to deal with the rules of Dutch labour law and a possibly applicable collective agreement, which are often "at odds" with contemporary approaches - and sometimes even go square against them.

What has been built up over the years in terms of working from core values, increasing self-management and dialogue with and between all layers in the organization often threatens to be canceled out with top-down reorganization. After all, we now know that the most important source of resistance is the change approach itself. Employees are loyal to the past and not to the future they do not know, how do you deal with that as a manager?


Organizational change can indeed be managed differently than the traditional ways: It can be effective, development-oriented, based on the core values of the organization and also within the legal frameworks. While inspiring and involving   the "the shop floor" in the planning along with the rest of the management teams. So, it can be Top Down and Bottom-Up! Change. A change not primarily from necessity, but from a deeply felt wish to align more with what is really playing and what is really needed.


The following topics are covered in this workshop:

  • Challenges, facts and opportunities in a reorganization, merger or takeover. What are the legal preconditions in the Netherlands and how can you effectively and carefully design the required processes within them, while the (new) organizational philosophy remains leading?
  • Overview of change approaches, traditional and contemporary. With their advantages and disadvantages, implications for and relationship to HR policy and Dutch employment law frameworks that result from the law, collective labour agreement or the own employment conditions regulation.
  • Are we switching to a new form of organization in a "big bang", or phased, step-by-step experimentation, department by department, team by team?
  • How do you develop a vision for the future, a (re) organization plan and a social plan as "growth documents" in collaboration with employees and with the required internal stakeholders such as Works Council, Trade Unions and any external "stakeholders"? With room for the individuality, role and (legal) duties of each party. Examples from practice, from various sectors.
  • How does a social plan fit in with what is really needed? Where and when do you consult with all parties involved and how do you organize and direct the interaction?
  • What is needed? Have employees give shape to staff reduction exercises, is that also possible? How do you measure the effects of your interventions - and how do you evaluate progress?
  • What does the due diligence investigation entail?
  • How does the integration process proceed after a merger or acquisition? Change of employment conditions (job content, travel time). Review of the economic dismissal by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) or sub district court judge.
  • Dismissal procedures: selection criteria, reflection principle, seniority principle (Last-in First Out), selection on quality

- Collective dismissal (Collective dismissal notification act)

- Redundancy schemes & the social plan

  • Under what circumstances can you unilaterally change the employment conditions?

Benefits from the programme

After following this module / workshop you have a good picture of challenges, facts and possibilities with regard to an organizational change, reorganization, merger or takeover in the Netherlands.

You know how you can effectively and carefully design the required processes within the Dutch legal framework, while the new organizational philosophy remains the guiding principle. You will also learn how, as a manager or HR-professional, you can support good interplay between all parties involved: acting together where possible, with room for the individuality, role and (legal) duties of each party: management, employee participation bodies, supervision, staff and customers.

In addition, you will receive tools for resolving issues and practical cases in your own organizational change or reorganization - and your own role in this.

Workshop Location. and dates

  • The workshops are held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Social Impact Factory in Utrecht, Vredenburg 40, within walking distance of CS Utrecht. They always include  an extensive lunch in brasserie De Utrechter.

April 16 (2021)

We also offer this workshop as an in-Company  or  One-on-One session, customized to the needs of your organization and yourself.


€ 795, excluding VAT, including reading materials, per workshop / module.

If your branch, professional or network organization has a cooperation agreement with us, a discount may apply. Indicate this under remarks during registration, stating the organization.


“The course was extremely useful - I feel a lot more informed and confident to purse matters in the workplace. I like the approach - not 'death by powerpoint'! Was never boring. About the trainer: 10/10, very easy to listen to, engaging and relaxed. I like the inclusion of group experience and advice too." - Janine Smith, Sofis

"Really useful course for my work. I work in HR in the Netherlands for a mid-large size company. It really showed me areas we aren't doing things correctly, and where we can improve." - Jeanie Edwards, Backbase B.V.

“I appreciated that the trainer could share his rich experience in Dutch employment law and that we could discuss specific practical examples in a small group of participants." - Kerstin Herzog, Brunswick Marine EMEA