European Employment Law Update — women on boards: Netherlands

Over the past few years in the Netherlands, the percentage of women on company boards has increased. However, women are still under-represented in company boards. These are the measures being taken in the Netherlands in order to enhance the number of women in company boards:

Positive discrimination — under the Dutch Civil Code, an employer may not discriminate on grounds of gender when entering into an employment agreement, providing training to an employee, fixing the terms and conditions of the employment agreement, granting promotion or giving notice of termination of the employment agreement. However, it is possible to deviate from this principle. Positive discrimination is also possible, in order to end or reduce existing inequalities but subject to the condition that the positive discrimination is proportionate in comparison with its purpose.

According to judgments of the Dutch Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), three requirements apply to positive discrimination under the code…

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