Even though the Dutch economy is growing again, many companies are still dismissing employees. Godelijn Boonman highlights the top 8 things to consider when confronted with dismissal.
This post was reviewed and updated on 13 July 2020
An employer cannot terminate a permanent contract without your agreement. Nor can he or she terminate a temporary contract prior to its scheduled date of completion. Only the UWV or the cantonal court can give permission to end a contract if parties are unable to reach an agreement.
Employees are now entitled to a severance from day one of their contract. The allowance is 1/3rd of the monthly salary per worked year. The higher entitlements for older employees and for employees with an employment of more than 10 years have been cancelled.
Since January 1 2020 the maximum transition allowance is now € 83.000 and there are no exceptions any more.
3. Reasonable grounds
An employer must have reasonable grounds to end the agreement and must also have tried to find another suitable position within the company before suggesting termination. If both are not the case, and you do want to agree to a proposed dismissal, be sure to negotiate a higher compensation than the transitional allowance. It is likely that your employer will be willing to pay more because the UWV or a court will not grant permission for dismissal.
4. Period of notice
An employer must take the notice period into account when ending an agreement. The notice period depends on how long you were employed:
- Less than 5 years: one month notice;
- Between 5 and 10 years: 2 months notice;
- Between 10 and 15 years: 3 months notice.
- For 15 years or longer, you must be given four months notice. The employment agreement should not end until that period has been taken in to account. The notice period commences on the date the parties reach an agreement.
5. Garden leave
Try to agree upon garden leave during the notice period. Garden leave entails that you continue to receive your salary without working. You then also have time to look for other work.
6. Non-competition clause
Make sure a non-compete or a business relations clause is waived in the agreement.
7. Vacation days
Employers tend to not want to pay outstanding days so be careful and either plan to use your vacations days, if possible, or make sure these are paid within a month after your employment ends.
Finally, an employee has the right to dissolve the agreement within 14 days.
Learn more about dismissal
Looking for more information about Dutch employment law and dismissal? Get the new white paper: When to call a lawyer about work
Don’t hesitate to get legal advice
We suggest that you seek legal advice when confronted with dismissal. Do not be too afraid of legal fees. Most employers are willing to compensate at least part of these fees and our lawyers know whether an employer stands a chance in court. The wording of the termination agreement itself is also important to ensure entitlement to unemployment benefits.
Godelijn experienced an international upbringing and education as an expat child living in Africa and England. Back in The Netherlands, she studied law at the University of Utrecht (1990). She then embarked on her legal career as a lawyer by working 10 years for the well-known law firm of ‘Wladimiroff en Spong Advocaten’. In 2000 she joined GMW lawyers as a partner and is the head of the Labour law and Pension section.
Godelijn specialises in international employment law and has extensive experience in dealing with both non-contentious and contentious international employment matters including (collective) redundancy packages and dismissal. She works for both companies and individual employees, enabling her to keep an open mind to both sides of a case. Naturally she helps her clients when a problem has arisen, but prefers to act before an escalation has taken place. Advice on a fair Human Resource policy is an essential part of her work.
Godelijn Boonman is considered to be the undoubted employment specialist for the expat community because she is bilingual, has a large international clientele and a wealth of experience in international employment law matters. She is therefore frequently asked to be the key note speaker at international seminars.
Godelijn has a keen interest in the international community and is a member of the advisory board of ACCESS .