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Dismissal Law in the Netherlands

A practical guide

Paperback Engels 2016 9789462366503
Niet leverbaar.


In July 2015, dismissal laws in the Netherlands were changed drastically. The objective was to make dismissal laws simpler, fairer, faster and cheaper. However, it has become clear that this objective will not be met. Severance packages have not been diminished to the lower transition payment and the more expensive Cantonal Court formula has not been abolished in practice. Compensation claims are on the rise and dismissing ill employees has become extremely difficult.

Explanations of the new laws in the English language are currently wanting. In order to facilitate multinationals and other international clients, Mirjam A. de Blécourt now fills this gap with this practical guide. As the laws are complicated, the booklet is written to guide the reader in a pragmatic and efficient way.

This guide will be useful to those who work in Human Resources in the Netherlands and have to report in English; to non-Dutch owners and investors with companies in the Netherlands (or who wish to invest in the Netherlands in the future); to lawyers and other advisors who conduct their business in the English language; as well as employees who have been seconded to the Netherlands. It could help them understand Dutch dismissal rules before they sign an employment contract. Finally, the booklet is also of interest to students who are interested in employment and dismissal laws.


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Over Mirjam de Blécourt-Wouterse

Mirjam de Blécourt is a Partner of Baker& McKenzie, the world’s largest law firmwith 47 offices in 77 countries. She leads Baker & McKenzie’s employment practicein Amsterdam, which is one of the most outstanding employment practices in theNetherlands. In addition, she is a trusted advisor to the Boards of Directors of many multinationals. As a collective dismissal specialist, Mirjam conducts and advises on social plan negotiations and related work’scouncil procedures. She furthermore advises on corporate employment law, including employment consequences of (cross border)mergers & acquisitions, (hostile) takeovers, the dismissal of Managing Directors and golden handshakes. She is also a passionate advocate for the equal representation ofmales and females in Boards of Directors. She won the Best Legal Women of the Year award in 2011 and 2012, as well as being ranked as Band 1 in Chambers 2015. In 2013 and 2014, Mirjam was named in the ‘Top 200 of Most Influential People in the Netherlands’, composed by the prestigious newspaper De Volkskrant.

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Preface 9

1. Options for terminating employment contracts 13
1.1 Introduction 13
1.2 The employee agrees in writing to termination of his/her employment contract 15
1.2.1 Termination by mutual consent (Book 7, Section 670b of the Dutch Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek (BW))) 15
1.2.1.a ‘Right of reflection’ 16
1.2.2 Termination with the employee’s written agreement (Book 7, Section 671 BW) 19
1.2.2.a ‘Right of reflection’ 20
1.3 The employee does not agree in writing to termination of his/her employment contract 22
1.3.1 Notice of termination and termination in general 22
1.3.2 Termination by the employer after permission from the UWV or collective bargaining committee on the basis of an a or b ground (Book 7, Section 671a BW) 26 Discontinuation of operations or business economic reasons (a ground) 27 Reflection principle 29 Prolonged illness (b ground) 30 UWV procedure (a and b grounds) 31 Term of validity of permission from the UWV 33 Notice period 35 Prohibitions on termination 36 ‘During’ prohibitions on termination (Book 7, Section 670 subsections 1 to 4 and subsection 10 BW) 36 ‘Due to’ prohibitions on termination (Book 7, Section 670 subsection 5 to 9 inclusive BW) 40
1.3.3 Setting aside of the employment contract by the sub-district court (Book 7, Section 671b subsection 1 BW) 41
1.3.4 Setting aside by the sub-district court on the a ground or b ground 48
1.3.5 Review of the application to set aside and prohibitions on termination 48
1.3.6 Time at which the employment contract is set aside 50
1.3.7 Fair compensation 50
1.4 Dismissal during a special situation or of a special person 51
1.4.1 Dismissal during the probationary period (Book 7, Section 671 subsection 1(b) in conjunction with Book 7, Section 676 BW) 51
1.4.2 Summary dismissal (Book 7, Section 671 subsection 1(c) in conjunction with Book 7, Section 677 subsection 1 BW) 52
1.4.3 Dismissal of a director or officer (Book 7, Section 671 subsection 1(e) BW) 57
1.4.4 Dismissal on reaching the state pension age/retirement age (Book 7, Section 671 subsection 1(g) in conjunction with Book 7, Section 669 subsection 4 BW) 59
1.5 Termination of a fixed-term employment contract without an early termination clause 61
1.5.1.a ‘Obligation to give notice’ 64
1.5.2 Early termination of a fixed-term employment contract 64
1.5.2.a Time at which the fixed-term employment contract is set aside 65
1.5.2.b Compensation 65

2. Consequences of violating the rules for termination of an employment contract 67
2.1 Possible applications by the employee after termination 67
2.1.1 Nullification of termination 67
2.1.2 Reinstatement of the employment contract 68
2.1.3 Defective termination 69
2.2 Possible applications by the employee after the employment contract has been set aside 72
2.2.1 Reinstatement of the employment contract 72

3. Employee compensation 75
3.1 Transition compensation 75
3.1.1 Transition compensation under transitional law 79
3.1.2 Transition compensation and older employees 80
3.2 Fair compensation (Book 7, Section 681 subsection 1(a-e) BW, Book 7, Section 682 subsection 4 and subsection 5) 82
3.3 Compensation for defective termination (Book 7, Section 672 subsection 9 and subsection 10 BW) 84

4. Appeal and appeal in cassation (Book 7, Section 683 BW) 85

Scenario’s 87
Notes accompanying flowcharts 89
Book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code (DCC) 91

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