This article discusses and compares Belgian and Dutch gender quota legislation. In Belgium, a mandatory quota that imposes sanctions for non-compliance was introduced in 2011. From 2013–2020, a target figure (streefcijfer) was in force in the Netherlands. This target figure applied on a comply-or-explain basis with no sanctions for non-compliance. The Netherlands is currently in the process of introducing mandatory gender quota, as the target figure did not yield the desired result of increasing the number of women on boards to the required level. This article discusses the key features of the Belgian mandatory quota and of the Dutch former target figure and proposed mandatory quota. Subsequently, this article compares the Belgian and Dutch quota legislation in terms of introduction of the quota, scope, application, implementation deadlines and sanctions. The analysis of the existing Belgian quota and the proposed Dutch quota legislation reveals that there are some similarities with regard to their application and sanctions. This article concludes with a discussion about what the Dutch legislator can learn from the Belgian gender quota legislation in order to succeed in increasing the number of women on corporate boards in the Netherlands.
European Company Law – Kluwer Law International
Published: Aug 1, 2021