(Bloomberg) -- A law that would have cemented the right to work from home in the Netherlands was torpedoed in the Dutch senate by farmer and pro-business parties.
The upper house of the Dutch parliament, led by the pro-farmer BBB and the liberal VVD, voted on Tuesday against a motion to establish the legal right to remote working.
The bill, approved by the lower house last year, would have required companies to consider employee requests to work remotely as long as their professions allow it, while insisting that the worker’s request be “reasonable and fair.”
Two left-wing parties proposed the bill last year after the pandemic fueled a shift in attitudes about work, with many people seeking to maintain some of the flexibility they gained.
After millions of office-goers were sent home en masse during the pandemic, companies, employees and governments are still figuring out how to adapt to lasting changes in corporate life. Stark differences have emerged across continents and cultures, with Asian and European workers largely returning to offices at a faster pace than their counterparts in the Americas.
The Netherlands ranks fifth globally in the number of remote jobs available, according to recent data.
“The law is a bad solution for a non-existing problem,” said VVD senator Cees van de Sanden just before the vote, warning that it would lead to more bureaucracy.
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