• Soccer Club Does Not Establish Specific Expertise
  • November 15, 2010 | Authors: Patrick Rietbroek; Eugene Weultjes
  • Law Firm: Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Amsterdam Office
  • If you want to use the 30%-ruling for an employee who is coming from outside the Netherlands, he or she must have a "specific expertise" that is not available or is scarce on the Dutch labor market.

    A case before the Court Breda involved an employee who had entered a employment contract with a Dutch soccer club as a coach.

    In dispute is whether the employee had "specific expertise" that is not available or is scarce on the Dutch labor market at the time of entering the employment contract with Dutch soccer club.

    During the proceedings, the Dutch soccer club and the employee submitted a list of the names of persons with degrees who are entitled to occupy the position as a soccer coach on the highest level in the Netherlands. There was also a list of skills (the list of competencies) that the future coach should have. This list contained the following requirements: experience, reliability, honesty, communication skills, “warm” personality and the ability to speak Dutch. The employee was the candidate who best met the requirements on the competencies list, hence he was offered the position.

    The tax inspector questioned whether the employee met the requirement of scarcity. The tax inspector claimed that list of names contained candidates with expertise similar to the employee’s. According to the tax inspector, the list of competencies didn’t matter because no objective requirements were listed.

    The Court decided that in addition to education, work experience and salary, other factors may be considered important whether or not there is a "specific expertise" that is not available or is scarce on the Dutch labor market. The additional factors must to be factors that a reasonable employer could determine and the factors must be objectively measurable for the explanation of the 30%-ruling.

    The Court decided that the football club had not made unnecessary additional requirements. However, the Court also decided that the requirements made on the competencies list are not objectively measurable, so these requirements play no role in the judgment of the "specific expertise" that is not available or is scarce on the Dutch labor market. The Dutch soccer club was therefore not forced to hire a coach from outside the Netherlands because, according to the list of names, enough people were present on the Dutch labor market with expertise similar to the employee’s.

    The 30%-ruling was not granted to the employee.