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Johan Zwemmer

Johan Zwemmer Ph.D.

Johan Zwemmer is a very dedicated and responsive lawyer. He gives clear and strong support. He acts for clients on employment mandates such as executive dismissals, collective bargaining and works council negotiations. He is particularly noteworthy for his expertise in flexible workforce arrangements.
Chambers 2024

Johan Zwemmer advises local and international companies on all aspects of collective and individual employment law, flexible employment relations and the interface between employment law and corporate law. He has considerable experience in the employment and employee co-determination aspects of major corporate transactions, outsourcing, reorganisation and integration processes.

Johan has advised many clients in major relocations, restructurings, on the organization of the flexible part of the workforce and on corporate employment law (transfer of undertaking, employee participation and collective labour law). He also has strong experience in litigation collective and individual dismissal cases of employees and/or managing directors and litigation.

Areas of FocusEmployment
Professional QualificationsAdvocaat admitted with the Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten


Areas of experience
  • Business transformations: restructuring, outsourcing, acquisitions, post-acquisition integration (also including social plan negotiations, employee representative consultation, severance packages)
  • Corporate misconduct, whistleblowing, investigations
  • Confidential information and restraints, business protection
  • Flexible workforces – non-regular worker challenges
  • Collective employment issues: company closures and strikes, litigation against unions
  • Harassment, discrimination and diversity
Key experience
  • Advising an international chemical company on the structure of its growing temporary /flexible workforce and on the hiring of different types of personnel (framework agreements with employment agencies regarding the hiring of (temporary) staff) and on the implementation of an alcohol and drugs policy.
  • Advising a large energy supply company on the intended privatisation, including the works council process.
  • Advising a media company with the restructuring of its Dutch workforce following the merger with another media company.
  • Advising a bank with the harmonization of the working conditions of the workforce after the acquisition of another bank.
  • Advising a large retailer on the reorganization of its organizational structure and the relocation and collective dismissal of the employees concerned.
  • Representing an online platform in a law suit filed by the largest Dutch trade union in which this union asked the court to confirm that employment or temporary employment contracts existed with the online platform.
  • Representing three large security companies in proceedings in which a group of employees (in a class action) claimed that the agreements made in the collective labour agreement for the private security sector regarding irregular hours allowances during holidays are null and void on the basis of jurisprudence from the European Court of Justice.
  • Advising a large French-Italian eyewear company on the acquisition of a Dutch multinational eyewear retailer, including the works council process.
  • Dutch
  • English
  • German
  • University of Amsterdam, PhD in law, 2012
  • Grotius academy, Post Graduate Course Employment law, 2006
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Sommersemester, Arbeits- und Mitbestimmungsrecht, 2001

    University of Amsterdam, Dutch law, 2000

Awards and Recognitions

Johan has been ranked by Chambers and Legal 500 for Employment and was a member of the Commissie Borstlap, which examined the future of the Dutch employment regulation on request of the Dutch government.

Additional Information

Johan's expertise and knowledge in complex and flexible workforce employment matters is highlighted by his membership of the Commissie Borstlap, an independent commission of experts appointed by the Government of the Netherlands, which examined the state and future of the Dutch employment market. In April 2022 Johan's expertise and thought leadership on employment matters was again acknowledged with his appointment as a member of the Advisory body on the legal position of political office-holders. This independent body will advise the Dutch Minister of the Interior, the Senate and the House of Representatives directly on the terms of employment of political office holders such as administrators and elected representatives at both national and local government level.


  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2022). Uitzending of detachering/contracting: wat is nou gezag? Annotatie bij Hof Arnhem- Leeuwarden 25 oktober 2022, ECLI:NL:GHARL:2022:9163 Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsrecht in Context2022/4.
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2022). Uitbetaling niet-opgenomen vakantiedagen is essentiële arbeidsvoorwaarde in de zin van de Uitzendrichtlijn. Case note on: HvJ-EU, 12/05/22, ECLI:EU:C:2022:373 (GD, ES, / Luso Temp – Empresa de Trabalho Temporário SA). 
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H., & Doorn, H. L. (2022). Recht op tewerkstelling: terug naar de bron: Naar een terughoudender beoordelingsmaatstaf door de (lagere) rechter en naar een gelijke toepassing hiervan binnen arbeidsrechtelijke driehoeksverhoudingen. ArbeidsRecht, 2022/8.
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2022). Pakketvergelijking arbeidsvoorwaarden bij intra-concerndetachering. Case note on: Rechtbank-Zeeland-West-Brabant, 26/01/22, ECLI:NL:RBZWB:2022:324
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2021). Arbeidsrechtelijke driehoeksverhoudingen: De uitzendovereenkomst, payrolling, detachering en contracting. Boom juridisch 2021. 
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2021). Bij scheepswerf gebruikte constructie is uitzending, geen contracting. Case note on: Rb. Noord-Nederland, 13/10/20, ECLI:NL:RBNNE:2020:3465 (Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging / Veka Shipyard Lemmer). 
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2020). De drie rijbanen van de Commissie Borstlap: Naar een nieuw, werkbaar evenwicht tussen bescherming, ordening én ruimte voor ondernemerschap! Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsrecht in Context2020/1.
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. & Peels, M. C. E. (2020). De cao-ontslagcommissie: welke afwijkende selectiecriteria worden in de praktijk gehanteerd en is er een (nieuwe) toekomst voor de ontslagcommissie? ArbeidsRecht2020-6/7
  • Zwemmer, J. P. H. (2020). Omzeilen ketenregeling via uitzendbureau leidt tot ontstaan arbeidsovereenkomst voor onbepaalde tijd. Case note on: HR, 21/02/20, ECLI:NL:HR:2020:312 (Taxi Dorenbos Drenthe BV t. werknemer). 

Lecturer and Researcher

Johan is also a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Employment Law at the University of Amsterdam. He is (chief) editor of several professional journals, co-author of handbooks on employment law and a lecturer at post-graduate educational programmes on employment law.

Johan regularly publishes on all aspects of labour law in professional journals.

Memberships And Affiliations

Dutch Society of Employment Law Lawyers (Vereniging Arbeidsrecht Advocaten Nederland, VAAN).