Blogs by SMART Lawyers


Last week, for the second time this winter, the Netherlands was blanketed by a thick layer of snow and brought to a standstill by the busiest rush hour on record. When snow leads to cancelled appointments and broken promises, that can cost money. Who’s supposed to pay for this? The

Contracting for bad weather

Organisations such as the magazine Nieuwe Revu, television programme Nova College Tour and watch maker Otumm have received a great deal of criticism for paying infamous Heineken kidnapper Willem Holleeder for columns, interviews and advertisements. However, the fact is that Holleeder owes

Willem Holleeder: paying or being attached?

The employee is under employment with her employer since 1999 as a pedagogic worker. Together with her foster daughter of the caregiver and two family members of the client she went to her client’s graduation. She drove the three clients in the employer’s van. On the way back the

Drunk employee drives clients home!

We can no longer imagine a life without social media like Facebook and Twitter. Even the Pope now has his own Twitter account, @pontifex. But… social media also have a darker side. Consider the riots in Haren. But the use of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn can also have drastic

Rules for using the papal Twitter account

‘The trade unions are losing members’. This could be read in several media at the end of October 2015. FNV says that it does not know the reason for this decline and that it will do more research on the matter. I can make an educated guess though. More and more I notice that

FNV: whose interests are actually being represented?

Ten days ago, a linesman at SC Buitenboys died after being assaulted by 16 and 17 year-old amateur footballers. Last weekend, all amateur football games were cancelled as a mark of respect. The suspects are being charged with manslaughter. But what about compensation for his family? Anyone

Compensation following the death of a linesman?

On 25 July 2007, Rabobank cyclist Michael Rasmussen was close to winning the Tour de France. But then it became known that he had lied about the location of a recent training session. Was he trying to avoid doping tests? The Rabobank cycling team dismissed him summarily and he was withdrawn

Does cyclist accused of doping deserve more?

The Dutch Minister for Social Affairs, Henk Kamp, wants employers to be able to set the applicable collective labour agreement aside if there is another economic downturn. During the credit crunch, part-time work supplemented by unemployment benefit was the solution used. Businesses

So much for the collective labour agreement!

When an employer and an employee close an employment agreement, there develop mutual obligations. The most relevant obligation for the employer about the employee is that the employee needs to fulfil his job. For the employee most importantly is that there develops an obligation to pay salary by

No salary because of Whatsapping!

Until recently Diederik Stapel was a well-known professor of social psychology at Tilburg University. During his academic career he published over 130 articles in academic journals. He won numerous awards and regularly participated in public debate. After suspicions were raised about

Generous treatment for Stapel

In the Netherlands there is being worked out by both young and old on artificial pitches with rubber grains. How safe actually is this? If artificial pitches give a heightened chance for cancer, who then is liable? What damages can you compensate? What do you need to prove? Causal link &

Liability with artificial grass?

Dismissal laws in the Netherlands have been a hot political topic for the last ten years. Many employers have been arguing against the requirement to obtain a dismissal permit in advance. Rumour has it that the Rutte II cabinet will finally relax the dismissal laws. However, a close examination

No relaxation of dismissal laws

The airlines Air France and Qantas are in negotiations with their staff about new employment terms. Negotiations are not going well. The staff want higher wages and are unhappy with changes proposed by the management. In the end, the staff of both companies threaten to go on strike. The strike

Are strikes legal?

Former professional road-racing cyclist Lance Armstrong used doping. He has been stripped of the Tour de France titles he won while under the influence of banned performance-enhancing drugs. Many sponsors have terminated their association with him. Some are now investigating whether they can

Lance Armstrong – worth pursuing or a lost cause?

Christoph Waltz is an actor who came to fame in the much-talked-about film Inglourious Basterds. He won awards, including both an Oscar and a Golden Globe, for his portrayal of an SS officer in the film. More recently, he has been filming a new spaghetti western called Django Unchained.

Money for a falling star?

The Province of North Holland uses the internet to exchange information internally. One of its own ICT employees discovered a security leak. He found out that the password used by the Province’s staff was very easy: welcome01. This made it very easy for outsiders to gain access to

Whistleblower is the perpetrator

Parties can be lots of fun. Unless, of course, too many people turn up - then things can get out of hand. The people of Haren know all about this, after a teenager announced her Sweet Sixteen party on Facebook and it took on a life of its own. For a short time, Haren was in the news all

If you join in the demolition, you can help pay for the damage!

PSV reserve goalkeeper Khalid Sinouh tends to say what he thinks on Twitter. His tweet posted on 11 September 2011, for the whole world to see, read: “People lets concentrate on the present now, getting a bit tired of all the 9/11 propaganda!!! Hmph.” He received a lot of criticism

A brief comment with huge consequences

Businesses will often do almost anything to avoid insolvency, but it can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. If turnover figures are dropping and it’s no longer possible to find the funds to pay staff and pay the rent. A trustee in insolvency (known in Dutch as a ‘curator’)

Insolvency, a blessing in disguise?

Swedish car manufacturer Saab is a subsidiary of the Dutch company Swedish Automobile. Dutchman Victor Müller is CEO of both companies. Saab currently employs 3700 people. The company has been experiencing payment difficulties for some time and is looking for new investors. The company

Which road will Saab go down?

The Viva! care group was awarded a large assignment following a tender process. However, the profits that would be made on the assignment were so low that it was necessary to make cutbacks. The management decided that the greatest scope for savings was in wage costs. So they asked their home

Less salary or dismissal?!

The Dutch Reformed Political Party (SGP) believes that unborn life is sacrosanct. So much so that the SGP leader, Kees van der Staaij, wants to prohibit abortion even following rape. This proposal has provoked national outrage. According to Van der Staaij, research shows that it is virtually

Advisors beware!

Ed Kennedy was employed by Associated Press as a war reporter. He was one of the 17 journalists present when the German troops surrendered in Reims (France) on the night of 7 May 1945. However, he was required to keep silent about this momentous news for 36 hours! The journalists had to

The right to news of international importance

In recent years, bonuses have often attracted negative press coverage. Some companies have tried to retract bonuses promised to employees. Some have been successful, but the majority have not. Last week, Rabobank’s board members announced that they were waiving their bonuses for 2012. So

The truth about bonuses

A dangerous bacterial infection broke loose in the Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam last year. 128 patients were infected. The outcome of the investigation was published this week: “they neglected their duties” and “prescribed measures were only taken when the outbreak became

Enough to make you sick?

On the morning of Friday 15 March 2013, Memphis van Veen crossed the Noord Brabantlaan in Eindhoven on her scooter at a traffic light. The light was green. As she crossed the bus lane, the 18-year-old nursing student was hit by an unmarked police car with a siren and flashing lights. Memphis

Right of way proves fatal

Minister Maxime Verhagen has said that the golden handshake of €325,000 received by the former chairman of the Dutch competition authority (NMa) on his departure last year was too high. The minister claims that an investigation has shown that there was nothing he could do about

Are departing employees being greedy?

Diane-35 is a drug that doctors prescribe to women to treat acne, oily skin and moderate excess hair growth. Minister Schippers believes that it is also prescribed as a contraceptive. It is believed that it has caused the death of more than 10 people in the Netherlands alone. What can their

Fatal anti-acne drug?

It has emerged that supermarket Albert Heijn and IKEA have been selling frozen ready meals and meatballs containing horse meat as products containing beef. The retailers immediately gave their customers the opportunity to return the products. Would consumers have been able to compel them to do

IKEA horse meat balls

Discrimination on the grounds of chronic illness or disability is prohibited by law. The Dutch Equal Treatment Act (WGB) has been extended to cover this. Anyone who feels that they have been unfairly treated with respect to work, profession, professional education or public transport due to

Employers publicly reproved for discriminating

Her Majesty Queen Beatrix has retired from her office at the respectable age of 75. Her mother, the late Queen Juliana, turned 71 on the day she abdicated from the throne. Following their abdication, both received a full state pension from the age of 65 in addition to their ‘royal’

Royal exception

Advertisement fraud was very relevant some years ago. Companies all over the place reported to be tricked by a company dealing in vague advertisements in unknown magazines. After some years of relative silence, this problem seems to pop up again. This is the reason for writing this blog: to

Advertisement fraud….sóóóó 2012?

A cruise ship recently sank in Italy; most of the passengers were saved. The question now is who is responsible. And who will pay the bills? The captain has said that he had to take the correct decisions in just a few seconds. As most of the passengers were saved he believes that he

Ship sinks. Who will pay up?

Cosmetics giant Vichy advertises an anti-wrinkle cream with a long-lasting lifting effect. According to the maker of a television programme, this claim is misleading. The Eindhovens Dagblad and Volkskrant newspapers have reported that the Dutch Advertising Code Committee (RCC) also considers

Anti-wrinkle cream

A musical gypsy bought a historic violin from an old lady at the market in Den Bosch for peanuts. It had belonged to her recently deceased husband. He paid fifty euros for a violin that was worth seventy-five to a hundred thousand euros! When interviewed by the newspapers, he said he had

Taking advantage or a downright swindle?