Has the Netherlands Labour Authority established a violation? Or has a previously established violation not been lifted after a warning? In those cases, a fine and/or penalty may be imposed. The procedure that follows is specified below.
When an inspector establishes a violation, he will prepare a fine report. This report explains which violations a company has committed, according to the inspector. Once the fine report is ready, the inspector will send it to the Afdeling Boete, Dwangsom en Inning (BDI) of the Netherlands Labour Authority (the Administrative Fines, Penalties and Debt Recovery Department). The company will receive a copy of the fine report at the same time.
The fine report is subsequently assessed. If the violation is proven, a company may be fined. It will first receive a ‘fine notification’. This notification states the intention to impose a fine, the intended fine amount and a description of the violation. A ‘standard fine amount’ has been established for each type of violation. The standard fine amount is used as the starting point when determining the fine.
If no violation was committed, or if there are other reasons not to impose a fine, the company will also be notified.
A company can reply to the fine within 15 days. This reply is referred to as the response. For example, the response can indicate why a company does not agree with the fine, why the violation is not attributable, or why the fine cannot be paid. There may be circumstances that allow the fine to be reduced. If no response is submitted, this has no further consequences for the right to object and appeal.
Decision imposing a fine
A company will receive a decision imposing a fine after the deadline for submission of the response has lapsed. This decision states whether or not a fine will be imposed on the company and if the company is fined, the fine amount. If a response was submitted, the reply thereto will follow in the decision imposing a fine. The response may result in a different fine amount. A company can object to the decision imposing a fine. The fine must be paid within the payment term. Filing an objection and appeal does not suspend the payment obligation.
Payment, demand and collection
If a company has been fined, payment must be made into the account of the Centraal Justitieel Incassobureau (CJIB) (the Central Fine Collection Agency) before the due date. The account number is stated at the top right of the CJIB’s payment request, under ‘Bestuurlijke Boete’ (Administrative Fine).
Please note that a company must pay the fine on time because the bank needs time to process the transfer.
If you have general questions about payment, contact the CJIB, Afdeling Overheidsincasso (Government Collection Department), telephone number 058 234 2075 or go to CJIB.nl/contact.
If the fine amount has not been posted to the CJIB’s account by the due date, the company will receive a demand. The fine will then be increased by the costs of the demand. If the fine has not yet been paid before the new due date after a demand, the fine will be collected by writ of execution. The CJIB will enlist a bailiff’s services. The costs thereof will be at the expense of the company. The full remaining fine amount will then become due immediately and any right to payment in instalments will lapse.
Under certain conditions, a company may make a payment arrangement. When a company submits a response, it can indicate it is unable to pay the fine immediately or in full. A company can also make a payment arrangement after it receives the decision imposing a fine.
Filing an objection
If a company disagrees with the fine, it can file a notice of objection within 6 weeks of the date of the decision imposing a fine. There are two ways to go about this:
|E-mail or post||Contact details|
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Post||De Minister van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid
t.a.v. Directie Wetgeving, Bestuurlijke en Juridische Aangelegenheden Bureau Ondersteuning
2509 LV Den Haag
The notice of objection must include:
- the name and address of the person filing the notice of objection;
- a description of the decision against which the objection is directed. Quoting the date and reference number. The reference number can be found on the first page of the decision under ‘Onze referentie’ (Our reference);
- the grounds (reasons) for your objection.
- In the week after filing the notice of objection, the company will receive a confirmation of receipt. The confirmation also asks whether the company wants to be heard. This can be ‘in person’, via video connection or by telephone. A hearing is not mandatory.
- The hearing usually takes place in the fourth week after the date of receipt of the notice of objection.
- The hearing will take place in Den Haag (The Hague).
- If the company is not interested in a hearing, a decision will follow based on the available documents.
Decision on an objection
In the decision on the objection, the decision imposing a fine will be reconsidered. There are three possible outcomes:
- the fine remains the same;
- the fine is reduced;
- the fine is revoked entirely.
If a company disagrees with the decision on the objection, it can appeal to the bestuursrechter (administrative court). Note: the fine must be paid immediately (more information under Payment, demand and collection on this page). If the fine is reduced or revoked and a company has already paid the fine, the amount paid plus statutory interest, will be paid back to the company. The decision periods are given below:
- The decision on the notice of objection will follow within 12 weeks of the end of the objection period.
- If no decision is made within 6 weeks of the end of the objection period, the processing of the decision will be postponed by 6 weeks. The company will receive a letter about this.
- If it is not possible to make a decision within 12 weeks, the decision will be postponed in writing again, but only with the consent of the company.
Appeal to the Court
If the objection is turned down and the company does not agree with that decision, it can file an appeal with the court’s sector Bestuursrecht (Administrative Law department). The appeal must be filed within six weeks of the date on which the decision on the notice of objection was served on a company. The decision states with which court the appeal can be filed. 'Griffierecht' (court fees) must be paid for this. The true amount of the court fee can be found on the website rechtspraak.nl.
Appeal with the Council of State
If a company disagrees with the Administrative Court’s ruling, it can file an appeal with the Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak (the Administrative Jurisdiction Division) of the Raad van State (the Council of State). This appeal must be filed within 6 weeks of the date on which the court issued the decision. ‘Court fees’ are payable for this too.
If the minister/staatssecretaris van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (the Minister/State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment) disagrees with the ruling of the administrative court, he can also file an appeal with the Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State (the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State).