Termination of Employment in the Netherlands


How works termination of Employment in the Netherlands?

termination employment netherlands

Termination of employment is an inevitable part of the employment cycle. In the Netherlands, both employers and employees have certain rights and obligations when it comes to ending the employment relationship. This article provides a comprehensive guide to the termination of employment in the Netherlands, outlining the key aspects, legal framework, and procedures involved.

Employment Contracts and Termination:

In the Netherlands, employment relationships are usually governed by either a fixed-term or indefinite-term employment contract. While fixed-term contracts automatically terminate at the agreed end date, terminating an indefinite-term contract requires adherence to specific legal procedures. The termination of an employment contract can occur by mutual agreement or by unilateral action from either the employer or the employee.

Termination by Mutual Agreement, the settlement agreement

When both parties agree to terminate the employment contract, they can do so by entering into a settlement agreement. This agreement should outline the terms and conditions of the termination, including severance pay, notice period, and any other relevant considerations. It is crucial to ensure that the agreement complies with Dutch labor laws to avoid future disputes. Contact always our experienced lawyers for avoiding mistakes and getting a maximum result. Fist advice = FREE of charge.

Termination by the Employer:

If an employer wishes to terminate an employment contract unilaterally, they must follow specific legal procedures. The Dutch labor law distinguishes between two types of dismissal: dismissal for economic reasons (redundancy) and dismissal due to personal circumstances (including poor performance or misconduct ( as well as instant dismissal )). In both cases, employers must adhere to the dismissal procedure prescribed by law, which involves notifying the employee, consulting the works council (if applicable), and obtaining permission from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) or the subdistrict court.

Termination by the Employee:

Employees in the Netherlands have the right to terminate their employment contracts by giving notice. The length of the notice period depends on the duration of employment, as specified in the collective labor agreement or employment contract. In certain situations, such as serious misconduct by the employer or significant breach of contract, an employee may terminate the contract without notice. In that case it is mentioned in Dutch ‘ontslag op staande voet’.

Severance Pay and Unemployment Benefits:

In most cases of termination, employers may be required to provide severance pay to the employee. The amount of severance pay depends on factors such as the length of service, the reason for termination, and the terms of the employment contract or collective labor agreement. Additionally, employees who become unemployed after termination may be entitled to unemployment benefits ( ww-uitkering in Dutch ) , subject to meeting specific criteria.

Dispute Resolution and Legal Remedies:

In case of conflicts or disputes arising from termination of employment, both employers and employees have access to various legal remedies. Employees can file a claim with the subdistrict court within specific timeframes, seeking remedies such as reinstatement or compensation. Employers may defend their position in court and must provide valid grounds for the termination.

Conclusion on termination of employment contracts:

Termination of employment in the Netherlands is governed by a well-defined legal framework that ensures the rights and obligations of both employers and employees. Understanding the procedures and complying with the relevant laws is crucial for a smooth and fair termination process.

What can our specialists in dismissal law do for you?

Understanding your rights, contact our specialists

As employment lawyers we can provide information and guidance during the termination process.
Our lawyers can review your settlement agreement to ensure it is legally sound and protect your interests. We help you to avoid mistakes and can negotiate for you with your opponent for the best result. Of course we can also defend your rights in Court if necessary.
In case of a settlement agreement we can identify potential issues, negotiate better terms, and advise on the implications of various clauses, including those related to termination, severance pay, and non-compete agreements. We always go for the best result for you!

Contact us for the first free advice

The assistance of an employment lawyer can be invaluable when dealing with termination of employment in the Netherlands. Our lawyers have a lot experience ( over 25 years!) with dismissal cases. So if you are confronted with dismissal, don’t hesitate and contact us for a free advice. Phone 0900 123 73 24 or mail us.

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