The retail industry

The companies in the retail industry range from small specialty shops to chain stores. Below you can read about the main obligations for you as an employer or employee in the retail industry.

1. Looking out for one another

In order to work safely, looking out for one another comes first. This 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. Not only for the board of directors and management of the company this is something important to do. The shop assistant on the shop floor should also constantly check whether they and their colleagues can work safely before the execution of work can start.

1. Looking out for one another

2. Communicate requirements and monitor them

Management notifies the employees of the general requirements and ensures that these requirements are met. 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.

2. Communicate requirements and monitor them

3. First aid

Effective means to provide first aid should be available where work is performed. They should be stored in such a way that they are protected from contamination by, for instance, dust and should always be readily at hand. At least one first-aid kit should be available in a retail business to provide first aid.

3. First aid

4. Toilet

There should be at least one private toilet and sufficient urinals where work is performed. Where ten or more people of both sexes can perform work, the private toilets should be separated by sex and they should have a clear sign showing the sex for which they are intended. Each private toilet or urinal should be equipped effectively, it must be possible to clean it properly and it should be ventilated adequately.

4. Toilet

5. Working hours/overtime

  • The working hours do not exceed 40 hours a week, calculated over a period of four weeks. The working hours should never exceed ten hours a day.
  • For the employee who works according to a duty roster (on shift duty), the working hours are 45 hours a week at the most, calculated over a period of four weeks. The working hours should never exceed ten hours a day.
  • 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 who does not perform work according to a duty roster should also receive an overtime pay of:
    1. at least 25 percent of their hourly wage, if they work overtime during their rest break;
    2. at least 50 percent of their hourly wage, if they work overtime on their rest day;
    3. at least 100 percent of their hourly wage, if they work overtime on a public holiday.
5. Working hours/overtime

6. Minimum wage

All employees are entitled to the minimum hourly wage. The amounts for the minimum hourly wage are available here: Minimum wage table

6. Minimum wage

7. Work performed by foreign nationals

It is prohibited for an employer to have a foreign national perform work without a valid work permit. On request, the work permit should be presented promptly to the inspectors of the Labour Inspection.

7. Work performed by foreign nationals

8. 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.

8. Slippery floors/clean floors

9. Hazardous substances/gas cylinders

The development and spread of hazardous or unpleasant fumes, gasses or substances in an area where employees must work or 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 area or to protect the staff.

9. Hazardous substances/gas cylinders

10. Emergency exits

Passageways and escape routes between the buildings should be in such a condition that they cannot cause any danger.

Emergency exits should be free of obstacles and easily accessible. Passageways and escape routes between the buildings must always be free of obstacles, enabling people to move down them freely.

10. Emergency exits

11. 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.

11. Fire safety

12. Physical stress

Physical stress is by far the most important cause of occupational disability on the shop floor. The BES Occupational Safety Act (Arbeidsveiligheidswet BES) does not provide for regulations regarding physical stress. 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 stress:

  1. Avoid or restrict lifting weights exceeding 25 kilograms;
  2. Avoid or restrict stooping down low;
  3. Avoid or restrict reaching up high.
12. Physical stress

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 twv@rijksdienstcn.com