Dismissal in the Netherlands - what are your rights? Severance payment?

Dismissal (redundancy) under Dutch law
Assistance and information in case of dismissal

Dismissal is a stressful event. It can happen to anyone.

Dismissal does not have to be your fault. You can adequately fulfill your job, but your position might be eliminated, or your employer is not doing well, from an economic perspective. Therefore, it is not caused by non-performance, but a termination of the employment contract due to a reorganization, or for business economic reasons.

Whatever the reason for dismissal, it’s good to know how the dismissal procedure works, if dismissal can be avoided, how to obtain a proper severance payment, and how to obtain unemployment benefits.

Reasons for dismissal

The most radical form of dismissal is ‘instant dismissal’. Such dismissal is only possible when there is an ‘urgent reason’ such as, fraud, theft, aggression, or being tardy too often. Instant dismissal is very profound because the employee immediately loses his/her job and salary, and is also not entitled to unemployment benefits. Strict conditions apply to this form of dismissal. For more information click: instant dismissal

Business economic reasons
As businesses may have to face difficult financial situations, or wish to reorganize (e.g. due to computerization or outsourcing), the employer can request to terminate the employment contract for business economic reasons. The employer will request a dismissal contract at the Employees Benefit Implementing Agency (UWV).
Conditions apply to such job loss. You can read more about it by clicking: business economic dismissal.

Dismissal due to non-performance

Non-performance is one of the most frequently used reasons for dismissal. It comes down to the fact that the employer wants to dismiss the employee because he/she does not adequately do his/her work, or because his/her attitude towards his/her co-workers is inappropriate. Strict conditions apply to dismissal as a result of non-performance. An employer must have discussed the performance of the employee several times with the employee, and must offer the employee sufficient time to better his/her performance, the so-called ‘improvement process’. Read more about the conditions for such a dismissal by clicking: non-performance.

Dismissal procedures

Basically, a forced termination of an employment contract can be conducted through two authorities. Termination of the employment contract can be conducted through the UWV or via the district court. The procedure via the UWV is done in writing. The procedure via the district court is partially in writing, but additionally a verbal assessment takes place.
One of the most important differences is that the UWV cannot grant severance payment. Howver, the district court can, and usually does.
For more information regarding the different procedures, please click: ‘dismissal procedures’.

Most dismissals do not end up at the UWV or the district court. Most dismissals are solved by the parties in consultation. Parties negotiate, with or without their advisors, the dismissal conditions, after which the achieved result is recorded in a so-called ‘assessment agreement’. For more information concerning this dismissal procedure, please click: ‘ with mutual approval’.

Severance payment and unemployment benefits

The district court often grants severance payment when dismissed ('golden handshake’). This severance payment is meant to (partially) offset the decline in income. You can calculate the amount of your unemployment benefit by clicking: 'severance payment’.

The employee who is dismissed, through no fault of his/her own, is usually entitled to unemployment benefits. The conditions, amount, and period of the unemployment benefits, can be found in: ‘dismissal and unemployment benefits’

What to do in case of dismissal?

How should you react when you are dismissed? Some suggestions are stated below:
•Ask for the reason of the termination of your employment contract in writing.
•Indicate that you remain available for work.
•Create a file with all relevant documents and correspondence.
•Contact a dismissal specialist. Let ou specialists check your settlement agreement


Don’t do:
•Do not agree to the dismissal.
•Do not sign anything and tell your employer you are going to seek advice.
•Do not go home without obtaining written consent.
•Do not agree to a lawyer suggested by your employer; contract an independent dismissal specialist yourself.

Assistance with dismissal in the Netherlands

Losing your job is profound. As a dismissal procedure is very important, it is recommended to ask for the assistance of a specialized lawyer or attorney. They can assist you with any dismissal procedure.

The lawyers and dismissal attorneys of Ontslagspecialist ( Dismissal Specialist ) have over 25 years of experience with dismissals. We negotiate or litigate to prevent the dismissal of employees, or to obtain a maximum severance payment (golden handshake). For employers, we can ensure the dismissal is done properly right from the start, according to the current rules, so that costly mistakes are avoided.

Legal aid insurance?

Are you insured for legal aid with a ‘labor’ module? Then you may select your own attorney or lawyer. The legal assistance insurer is required to pay for the costs of the attorney/lawyer selected by you. Therefore, even if you’re insured, we can assist you.

Direct action:

Dismissal law is complicated. A wrong approach can result in bad consequences. Make sure that you are in a strong position and that you handle your dismissal in the Netherlands correctly right from the start.
Call or send an email to Ontslagspecialist ( Dismissal Specialist ) for professional dismissal assistance and advice.
Call 0900 – 123 73 24 or send an email by clicking: advice form.
The first dismissal advice is FREE OF CHARGE!

 Dismissal in the Netherlands

Daarom ontslagspecialist

  • Specialist in ontslagzaken
  • Ervaren advocaten en juristen
  • Resultaat gedreven, snelle actie
  • Adviseren, procederen, onderhandelen
  • Betaalbare adviezen

Contact informatie:

  0900 1237324
 mail ons icoon

ontslag stel uw vraag



© 2023 Ontslagspecialist