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    The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has quashed a verdict of the Court of Appeal that held that a social plan provision stipulating the capping of a redundancy allowance in view of an entitlement to early retirement pension was invalid because of age discrimination. According to the Supreme Court, a more marginal justification test should have been applied to a social plan. The Court of Appeal, moreover, did not consider all the legitimate aims it specified and should also have taken additional social plan measures as well as pension measures from the past into account. By not doing so, it was not properly examined whether the social plan constituted age discrimination.


Albertine Veldman
Albertine Veldman is a lecturer in European and Dutch labour law at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Article

Access_open The Potential of the Dutch Corporate Governance Model for Sustainable Governance and Long Term Stakeholder Value

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2019
Keywords corporate governance, company law, stakeholders, Dutch Corporate Governance Code, long-termism
Authors Manuel Lokin and Jeroen Veldman
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the question of how the Dutch regulatory and institutional setting enables policy coherence, specifically with regard to safeguarding stakeholders’ interests and promoting sustainable governance. To address this question, we engage with idiosyncratic theoretical notions in the Dutch corporate governance model. We follow the evolution of these notions in statutory company law and case law, their development in the Dutch Corporate Governance Code and their relation to the Enterprise Chamber as a unique institution. We establish how these theoretical views and practical institutions present significant means by which stakeholder concerns may be represented in the operation of company law and corporate governance more broadly and provide a number of ways in which these institutions and their operation can be further developed.


Manuel Lokin
Manuel Lokin is Professor of Company Law at Utrecht University and lawyer at Stibbe, Amsterdam.

Jeroen Veldman
Jeroen Veldman is Visiting Professor at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Innovation at Mines ParisTech in Paris, France and Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School in London, UK.
Introduction

Access_open Towards Responsible Business Conduct in Global Value Chains

Relevant Legal Developments in the Netherlands

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2019
Keywords responsible business conduct, business and human rights, corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, the Netherlands
Authors Liesbeth Enneking and Jeroen Veldman
AbstractAuthor's information

    The past few decades have seen an increasing scrutiny of the impacts – both positive and negative – that companies have on the societies in which they operate. The search for adequate responses to such scrutiny is reflected in developments in the societal, political and academic debate on three separate but interrelated concepts: corporate social responsibility, business and human rights and responsible business conduct. The focus in this Special Issue will be on law and policy relating to responsible business conduct in global value chains. The contributions in this Special Issue identify relevant developments and institutions in the Netherlands, including rules and regulations related to trade, investment and corporate governance as well as cases related to corporate and consumer responsibilities, and assess their role in relation to the potential to provide a positive response to the concern about the human and environmental impacts of business activities. Together, they provide a multi-perspective view of relevant gaps and/or best practices with regard to regulatory governance in the Netherlands while at the same time enabling a comparative debate on the extent to which these diverse developments and institutions are in line with stated policy goals in this context both at national and EU levels. In doing so, this Special Issue aims to contribute to further coherence between national and EU policies with regard to RBC in global value chains and sustainable development.


Liesbeth Enneking
Liesbeth Enneking is Professor of Legal Aspects of International Corporate Social Responsibility at Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Jeroen Veldman
Jeroen Veldman is Visiting Associate Professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Visiting Associate Professor at Mines Paristech, Interdisciplinary Institute for Innovation, Paris and Section Editor Corporate Governance at the Journal of Business Ethics.
Article

Access_open SMART Reflections on Policy Coherence, Legal Developments in the Netherlands and the Case for EU Harmonisation

Afterword to Erasmus Law Review Special Issue Towards Responsible Business Conduct in Global Value Chains

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2019
Keywords sustainability, business, global value chains, planetary boundaries, sustainable corporate governance
Authors Beate Sjåfjell and Jeroen Veldman
AbstractAuthor's information

    The EU-funded project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART, 2016-2020), undertook an interdisciplinary and multilevel regulatory analysis of the barriers and possibilities for securing the contribution of private and public market actors to a sustainable future. Jurisdiction-specific contributions were an essential part of this broad regulatory analysis. This afterword reflects on the Dutch contributions included in this Special Issue, emphasising the urgency of securing policy coherence for sustainable business. The afterword highlights how individual initiatives by national legislators such as those of the Netherlands can be inspiring examples, while they also bring with them challenges including questions of scope and of legal certainty for businesses, specifically with regard to cross-border operations and activities. This leaves business with the difficult task of figuring out the various requirements and expectations and may lead to regulatory competition between EU member states. The afterword therefore concludes with a call for EU harmonisation, to give sustainability-oriented business a level playing field and provide legal certainty both for decision-makers in business and for those affected by the conduct of business across global value chains.


Beate Sjåfjell
Beate Sjåfjell is Professor, University of Oslo, Faculty of Law; Adjunct Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Economics and Management. Coordinator of the now concluded H2020-funded project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART, 2016-2020), grant agreement 693642. Acknowledgment: This article draws on joint research in the SMART Project, and I am grateful to the whole team, and, in the context of this special issue, especially Jeroen Veldman for his leadership on the Dutch contribution to the project.

Jeroen Veldman
Jeroen Veldman is Visiting Associate Professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Visiting Associate Professor at Mines Paristech, Interdisciplinary Institute for Innovation, Paris and Section Editor Corporate Governance at the Journal of Business Ethics.
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