International employment law

Let’s imagine that you are employed by an organisation that has asked you to relocate to a foreign country. Will your contract of employment still be subject to Dutch law in that case, or will it be subject to the law of the country where you are going to work? In which country should you go to court if you have a dispute with your employer?

Growing number of cases

Issues such as these are becoming more and more commonplace, given the growing number of cases involving international employment relations. International law is not simply about deciding on the jurisdiction under which you fall. It’s also about the type of court to which you should submit any disputes. Although certain problems may be resolved by mutual agreement, there are plenty of situations in which this does not apply. The problem is that international law lays down a number of binding rules that you cannot simply ignore, for example the rule on designating the law of the country to which the employment contract is most closely linked as being the applicable law. 

These issues often coincide with the question of which court is competent to adjudicate on disputes. This is hardly surprising, as the same court is also likely to rule on the matter of the applicable law.


Most of the rules and regulations in international employment law are laid down in convoluted international treaties. Not only are these treaties amended at regular intervals, there is also the problem of whether the countries at the centre of a dispute about applicable laws and competent courts are actually party to the treaty concerned.

International aspects are also often involved in relation to social security issues, such as those affecting the large number of cross-border commuters.

What can we do for you?

International aspects often play a critical role, whether it’s a matter of winning a court case or delivering expert advice. We will be pleased to assist you in resolving any international disputes in relation to employment law.

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