Work Where You Want bill

On 5 July 2022, the Work Where You Want bill was adopted by the Lower House of Parliament. This bill should make it easier for employees to work both at the workplace and from home. Although the bill must first be passed by the Upper House of Parliament before it can take effect, we will now already look at the reason for this bill and its main components.


Since the coronavirus and the government’s call to work from home as much as possible, the number of homeworkers has increased enormously. Given the many positive experiences and the fact that almost three quarters of employees prefer to alternate between working from home and at the workplace, the bill seeks to respond to this changed standard and to give employees more freedom to work from home by strengthening the legal basis for that choice. What will this entail?

Flexible Working Act

Under the currently applicable law – the Wet flexibel werken (Flexible Working Act) –employees already have the possibility of requesting a change to their working week, their working hours, and their workplace. An employee may make such a request if he or she has been in the employer’s service for at least 26 weeks, barring unforeseen circumstances, before the proposed date of implementation of that change. An employee who wishes to make such a request must submit it in writing to the employer at least two months before the proposed start of the change. The employer in its turn must consult with the employee in question and respond to the request no later than one month before the proposed date of commencement. The employer must grant a request for a change in the working week or working hours unless compelling business or departmental interests so oppose. With regard to the request for a change in the workplace, the employer currently has greater freedom to assess such a request. Although the employer must take such a request into consideration, it may current reject it on any grounds, unlike requests relating to the working week or working hours.

Work Where You Want Act

If the bill is adopted by the Upper House of Parliament, the latter aspect will be changed. In that case, if an employee requests a change of his or her workplace – read: either at one of the work locations that the employer has at its disposal within the territory of the EU or at the employee’s home address within the territory of the EU – an employer can no longer reject such a request on just any ground. An employer must agree to the request if, taking all the circumstances of the case into account, it believes that its interests must give way by standards of reasonableness and fairness. In sum: rejection on arbitrary grounds will no longer be possible, but a concrete weighing of the employer’s interests on the one hand and those of the employee on the other hand will have to be made.


The Work Where You Want bill will change the criteria for granting a request to change the workplace. Whereas such a request may currently be denied on any ground, the bill will allow this only after all the interests involved in the case have been weighed. Only time will tell whether this will make it easier for an employee to work both at the workplace and from home. It is in any event clear that the employee’s interest must prevail over the employer’s interest.

Do you have any questions about this article? Please contact Puck Keurentjes (+31-6-128 603 80) or Lise van den Heuvel (+31-6-234 922 48) .

This article was published in the Newsletter Vestius of September 2022