Facing dismissal

Things to consider when confronted with dismissal

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

1. Contract

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.

2. Compensation

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.

8. Dissolve

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.

Contact our employment law experts