Labour / Employment law and dismissal

Russell Advocaten advises employers on all aspects of employment law, Dutch, European and international

Legal 500 2021 | Russell Advocaten leading firmRussell Advocaten advises employers on all aspects of employment law, Dutch, European and international. We will assist you during negotiations and in legal proceedings. We can also help you with personnel management and reorganisations.

Would you like to know more about other areas in which we assist employers? Visit our webpages about:

Do you, as an employer, need legal advice?

Please contact us via +31 20 301 55 55 or by e-mail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our clients often ask the following questions. Do you have any other questions or would you like to submit a dispute to us? Call us at +31 20 301 55 55 without obligation or send us an e-mail.

  • The end of the employment contract

    • How can I terminate my employee’s employment contract?

      You can terminate your employee’s employment contract in different ways:

    • Can a temporary contract be terminated prematurely?

      Premature termination of a temporary employment contract is only possible if this has been agreed in writing:

      Premature termination clause

      If a premature termination clause has been agreed upon, for the employer the “normal” rules for termination apply. In other words: You can only terminate an employment contract prematurely with permission from the UWV, via a request for dissolution to the subdistrict court, or with the employee’s agreement. You must also observe the period of notice for termination. Your employee can also terminate the employment contract prematurely, provided that he or she observes the period of notice for termination.

      No premature termination clause

      If no premature termination clause has been agreed upon, in principle, the employment contract cannot be terminated prematurely. If the contract is still terminated, the non-terminating party can claim damages before the subdistrict court. In the event of wrongful premature termination by the employer the employee can also request the annulment of this termination before the subdistrict court.

      Without a premature termination clause, a temporary employment contract can be terminated prematurely:

    • My employee’s temporary contract is about to end. What do I have to do?

      In principle, a temporary contract ends automatically – without a need for prior notice – on the agreed end date.

      You must inform the employee about the continuation of the employment relation no later than one month before the end of the contract (‘notification obligation’). You must notify your employee in writing whether or not the employment contract will be continued and if so, under what conditions. What if you do not notify the employee (on time) whether or not the employment contract will be continued? In that case you are obliged to pay the employee a compensation. If you do not fulfil the notification obligation and the contract will be continued, the contract will be deemed to be continued for the same time (but for a maximum period of one year) under the same conditions. You do not have a notification obligation in the case of a temporary contract in which the end date is not set on a calendar date or which has a duration of less than six months.

    • What compensation do I have to pay to my employee in case of dismissal?

      Transition compensation

      When an employment contract is terminated upon your initiative, you must pay the employee transition compensation. The transition compensation depends on the length of service and the employee’s salary. In some cases, however, you do not need to pay transition compensation at all or a reduced compensation. In other cases, you must pay higher transition compensation.

      Reasonable compensation

      If the dismissal is attributable to serious culpable acts or omissions on your side, the court can grant the employee a reasonable compensation on top of the transition compensation. The amount of the reasonable compensation will be determined by the court.

    • What are the exceptions to the transition compensation?

      Sometimes, you do not have to pay transition compensation or you have to pay a lower or higher transition compensation amount:

      No transition compensation

      You need not pay a transition compensation if:

      • The employee is under 18 and works less than 12 hours per week
      • The employment contract ends upon or after reaching the pensionable age
      • The end of the employment contract is due to serious culpable acts of the employee (mostly in the event of dismissal with immediate effect)
      • You have been declared bankrupt, granted moratorium or may participate in a debt management scheme for natural persons
      • The collective agreement contains an equivalent provision for transition compensation; or
      • Your employee has been given a new temporary contract before his or her temporary contract has ended, and the new contract will start within 6 months after the end of the previous employment contract

      Transition compensation scheme

      You can apply for compensation from the UWV for transition compensation paid in the event of dismissal of an employee who has been ill for more than two years.

    • How to dismiss a statutory director?

      statutory director is dismissed by the general meeting of shareholders (AVA) or the Supervisory Board (RvC).

      Often the director is also an employee of the company. In that case he has a ‘dual legal relationship’, a relationship under employment law and corporate law. The dismissal of the director under corporate law by the general meeting of shareholders or the Supervisory Board then also entails the dismissal under employment law.

      Thus, all that is needed for the dismissal of the statutory director is a valid decision by the general meeting of shareholders or Supervisory Board. Make sure that all corporate law rules are complied with! If these rules are not complied with, the dismissal decision may be null and void or can be cancelled. In addition, there must be a reasonable ground for the dismissal. Otherwise, the director can claim a reasonable compensation.

      Please note: If the director has been appointed within a group of companies as a statutory director of one company and has concluded an employment contract with another company, the aforementioned does not apply. In that event the dismissal under corporate law does not result in dismissal under employment law.

  • Holiday and leave

    • Which types of leave is the employee entitled to?

      On the basis of the Work and Care Act (Wet Arbeid en Zorg (WAZO)) the employee is (under circumstances) entitled to the following types of (care) leave:

      Tip: Include a list of the different types of leave in your employee handbook.

    • Obliging employees to take holidays. Is that allowed?

      In principle, employees are not obliged to take their holidays at a time determined by the employer. The general rule for taking holidays is that the employer has to agree to a request from the employee. Only if substantial business interests do not allow for it, the employer may refuse a request and determine the holiday period for the employee himself. In practice, this mainly concerns the continuity of the business, or fixed holiday periods as for schools and the construction industry. It does not include a shutdown due to the corona crisis. Because of the NOW scheme and other government support measures the employer has, after all, no interest to make employees take their holidays just now.

Our employment and dismissal lawyers

Meet our specialists in employment law, dismissal and employee participation


Our offices

Russell Advocaten focuses on entrepreneurs, director and major shareholders, managers, supervisory board members, affluent individuals and expats. We will gladly assist you on all fronts in your daily business operations. We provide legal advice, mediate between different parties and assist you in legal proceedings.


Our hourly fees are in line with the market. Costs due to third parties under the mandate (such as charges, bailiff’s costs and court fees) will be discussed with you in advance.

In addition, we are prepared to agree on fixed rates for certain services. Following a personal meeting with you, we will determine whether your case is suitable for this as this concerns usually cases that are relatively easy to understand from a legal point of view.

No legal aid (Raad voor Rechtsbijstand)
We do not provide state funded legal assistance, what is referred to as “toevoeging”. You can find out whether you are eligible for a “toevoeging” on the website of the Raad voor Rechtsbijstand:


Employment law news

Our lawyers regularly publish blogs, newsletters, articles and books on employment law and dismissal. We also regularly organize seminars and workshops for employers. Below you will find an overview of our publications and events.

  • IT and ICT
  • Employment law and dismissal

Uber drivers are employees, not self-employed workers

14 September 2021

According to the Amsterdam District Court, Uber drivers are employees. Therefore, they are covered by the collective agreement of the taxi industry with all associated rights and obligations. How did the District Court reach this judgement? And what does it mean for other forms of platform work?

read on
  • Retail
  • Employment law and dismissal

Questions and challenges during COVID-19: Dutch employment law, tenancy law and contract law

13 September 2021

In this article, we will discuss several questions and challenges in the field of Dutch employment law, tenancy law and contract law during COVID-19.

read on
  • Corporate law

Is a management agreement an employment contract or a contract for services?

26 August 2021

Do the new rules of the Supreme Court for the assessment of employment contracts also have consequence for management agreements? Case law has not decided yet. This can be seen from the judgments of the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal and the District Court of Midden-Nederland about the management agreement of the CFO of Volksbank.

read on
  • Employment law and dismissal

Dismissal of sick statutory director

12 August 2021

A sick employee may not be dismissed. However, an employee who knows of imminent dismissal, cannot avoid this by reporting sick. But when does the employee know that this is the case? This question was central to the court case concerning the dismissal of a CFO of Volksbank.

read on
  • Employment law and dismissal

Personnel: Rules on employee appearance in company regulations

10 August 2021

Employers can determine rules on clothing and appearance in company regulations. What do employers have to keep in mind when setting such rules?

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  • Employment law and dismissal

Three important topics to include in your employment contract under Dutch, US and UK law

15 July 2021

In the last issue of Stare Decisis, Priscilla de Leede of Russell Advocaten, Mary Edenfield of Mateer Harbert and Ed Belam of Marriott Harrison discuss the most important topics to include in your employment contracts regarding the termination of the contract. There are some important differences to take into account!

read on
  • Expats
  • Employment law and dismissal

17 June 2021: Employment Webinar “Tricky sickness issues”

17 June 2021

If your employee reports sick, this may raise many difficult questions. What are your reintegration obligations during the sick leave period? What are you allowed to record about your sick employee with regard to the privacy legislation? We answered these and other questions during a webinar. Watch the video!

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  • Employment law and dismissal

Be careful with the employer’s statement!

14 June 2021

Before obtaining a mortgage or rental contract, banks or landlords often ask for an employer’s statement. Such a statement can sometimes have unintended consequences for the employer. What do you need to be aware of?

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