Traliant Resources


Equal Employment Opportunity


Please review the information below and then return to the workplace harassment prevention course.

Harassment and discrimination based on a protected characteristic are prohibited under national law. National law also provides employees protection from bullying.

Applicable Laws

The primary national laws prohibiting employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic are:

  • The Dutch Civil Code,
  • The Equal Treatment Act,
  • The Men and Women Equal Treatment Act, 
  • The Equal Treatment Temporary and Permanent Employees Act,
  • The Equal Treatment Disability or Chronic Illness Act, and
  • The Equal Treatment in the Workplace Age Discrimination.

Employers have an obligation, under the Working Conditions Act, to take measures necessary to protect employees’ psychological and physical safety. This obligation requires employers to protect employees from workplace bullying.

Protected Characteristics

Harassment or discrimination based on any characteristic set forth below is prohibited in the Netherlands.

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Belief and political conviction
  • Nationality
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Disability or chronic disease
  • Type of employment contract (temporary or permanent, full-time or part-time)

Regional, state or other political subdivision laws may provide additional, separate standards and remedies for certain prohibited conduct.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as any form of verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature, with the purpose or effect of violating of a person’s dignity, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Filing a Claim in the Netherlands

A claim for employment discrimination or harassment may be filed with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. A complaint related to workplace safety and sexual harassment or bullying may be submitted to the Netherlands Labor Authority.

Potential Remedies

In the Netherlands, an employee who has experienced workplace discrimination or harassment may be entitled to monetary and other remedies. An employer may be required to take certain actions to correct or redress discriminatory harassment or violations of workplace safety standards. Potential remedies are listed below.

  • Compensation for lost wages and benefits
  • Damages for injury to dignity or feelings
  • Cease and desist orders

Retaliation Prohibited

Employer retaliation against an employee who files a complaint relating to discrimination or harassment or is involved in the complaint process is unlawful.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only.
It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.