The hospitality industry
The hospitality industry (comprising hotels, restaurants (snèks) and casinos) is a sector with great occupational hazards. These include, for instance, illegal employment, underpayment and breach of working hours and rest break regulations. The Labour Inspection therefore dedicates a considerable amount of attention to this sector. A large inspection project is being conducted from November 2017 to May 2018.
Below you can read more about the rights and obligations which apply to employers and employees in the hospitality industry.
1. Looking out for one another
In order to work safely, looking out for one another comes first. This also means that you should consider in advance how work can be performed safely. First you should discuss the work with each other, inform one another and only after that you set to work. This is not something which only the board of directors and management of the company should do. The employee on the shop floor should also constantly check whether they and their colleagues can work safely before the execution of work can start.
2. Instructions and supervision
The head or director of a company should ensure that the regulations or instructions laid down in the BES Occupational Safety Act (Arbeidsveiligheidswet BES) are observed. So management should notify the employees of the general regulations and ensure that these regulations are complied with. This means that the employees are informed about the risks and receive instructions about the measures to be taken. In addition, it should be ensured that work is performed safely in the prescribed manner.
3. Working hours and rest breaks
- For employees who work in hotels, restaurants and casinos, the maximum number of working hours is 48 hours a week. This is calculated over a period of four weeks. The total number of working hours per day should not exceed ten hours.
- The maximum number of working hours, including overtime, should not exceed 55 hours a week. This is calculated over a period of four weeks. So the total number of working hours, including overtime, should not exceed 11 hours a day.
- The total number of working hours, including overtime, is calculated over a period of 13 weeks and should not exceed 48 hours a week.
The employee receives an overtime pay per hour of at least 50 percent of their hourly wage, in addition to their full hourly wage, as compensation for the overtime they worked. In addition to the overtime pay, an employee:
A) who does not perform work according to a duty roster (on shift duty) should also receive an overtime pay of at least 50 percent of their hourly wage, if they work overtime on their weekly rest day, on Sunday or a public holiday;
B) roster workers also receive at least 50 percent of their hourly wage if they work overtime on a day which is set as their rest day on the duty roster or on a public holiday.
By way of derogation from Article 10, first paragraph, of the BES 2000 Labour Code (Arbeidswet 2000 BES), the employer should allow the employee to take a break of at least half an hour on a day on which the employee has worked more than six hours, unless the shift does not allow this.
4. Hazardous substances
The development and spread of hazardous or unpleasant fumes, gasses or substances in a workroom or a room where employees must be present, should be prevented. Where this is not possible or it is not possible to an adequate degree, effective means must have been used to purge those fumes, gasses or substances from the room or to protect the staff.
5. Cut hazards
Tools whose parts may cause danger by cutting, squeezing, crushing, by their rapid speed or in another fashion (such as, for instance, cutting machines, circular saw or band saw machines to process meat), should be installed and fitted in such a way and be equipped with proper units or protection to prevent the danger as much as possible.
6. Sound and noise
Hearing impairment occurs when the sound level (volume) in the ear canal is too high, regardless if this sound is pleasant or is perceived as noise. The rule of thumb is: if it is not possible to have a conversation with a person within a radius of one metre without raising one's voice, there is a risk of developing noise induced hearing loss.
7. Personal protective equipment
The employer should ensure proper working conditions. They can realise this by reducing the risks as much as possible at the source and by taking organisational measures. If these measures are inadequate, the employer may provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to their employees. This includes, for instance, safety boots, gloves, safety glasses or face screens and hearing protection.
8. Physical strain
All employees have to deal with physical exertion. For instance when they are moving products (lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling). The muscles and joints in the back, shoulders and arms are used so frequently that physical stress may occur. Or the opposite occurs, underexertion due to the lack of physical activity or as a result of being sedentary. Both stress and underexertion may lead to health conditions.
The BES Occupational Safety Act does not provide for regulations regarding physical stress or underexertion. The Labour Inspection does not have the authority to take imperative and enforcement action in this matter. The Labour Inspection will, however, offer advice on any points of improvement following inspections.
The following measures can reduce physical strain:
- Avoid or restrict lifting weights exceeding 25 kilograms;
- Avoid or restrict stooping down low;
- Avoid or restrict reaching up high.
- Avoid being seated or standing too long
9. Minimum wage
All employees are entitled to the minimum hourly wage. The amounts for the minimum hourly wage are available here: Minimum wage table
10. Work performed by foreign nationals
It is prohibited for an employer to have a foreign national perform work without a valid work permit. The work permit should be presented promptly at the request of the inspectors of the Labour Inspection.
11. Gas cylinders
Boilers, containers and other units that contain gasses which could create a risk of explosion should be installed and fitted in such a way to prevent an explosion as much as possible.
12. Fire safety
Measures should be taken to keep the risk of fire and accidents to a minimum. This means taking technical and organisational measures to prevent fires and briefing employees on how to act in case of an emergency. In case of fire, they should know that they must notify the Fire Department first and what fire extinguishing equipment they can use when.
13. Slippery floors/clean floors
A workroom should be equipped with appropriate floors. In a workroom where the work requires the use of a considerable amount of water, the floor must allow adequate surface drainage. The floor of a workroom should be scrubbed and mopped until it is properly clean.
14. Exposure to high temperatures
In areas where employees are exposed to temperatures which exceed the outside temperature by more than five degrees Celsius, effective measures should be taken to reduce the temperature or to reduce its adverse effect on the employee, if required and as far as the nature of the company allows this.
15. First aid
Effective means to provide first aid should be available where work is performed. They should be stored properly and be protected from contamination by dust or dirt. These supplies should always be readily at hand. At least one first-aid kit should be available in a business in the hospitality industry to provide first aid.
16. Emergency exits
Emergency exits should be free of obstacles and easily accessible.
Where can employers and employees go if they have questions?
If you have a question for the Labour Inspection or you wish to file a complaint about your working conditions, you may contact the Labour Inspection via arbeidsinspectie@RijksdienstCN.com or by telephone via +599 715 8888.
For questions about salary and working hours, or for mediation in an employment dispute, you may contact the Labour Affairs department. You can send them an e-mail via arbeidszaken@RijksdienstCN.com, call them via 715-8888, or pay them a visit during consultation hours.
Do you as an employer have a question about work permits? Then please contact the IND service counter or send an e-mail to email@example.com.