Publication date: 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?
Anyone wanting a mortgage or renting a house has to prove that they have sufficient fixed income. Employees can do so by having the employer fill in an employer’s statement or state in a letter the employee has permanent employment. Do such statements also have consequences if they suggest a permanent contract, when it is a temporary one?
An employer’s statement must be filled in truthfully. However, due to the questions by the bank or the landlord, there may be room for the impression that there is permanent employment without stating falsehoods.
Can an employee claim to have a permanent contract on the basis of the notification that the employment will not be terminated in the short term? No, because the employer’s statement is communication to the bank. Therefore, the employee cannot invoke the employer’s statement against the employer. If the employee wants to prove that he has permanent employment, he needs additional proof.
However, the reverse may apply. In a recent case an employee claimed compensation because he had not been notified in writing of the end of his temporary contract. The employer did not agree. The employee had received an employer’s statement which stated that the employment would not be extended. In addition, the employee had been informed orally of this fact in advance. And on top of it all, the employee had already started a trial period at another company. So there was no lack of clarity that the contract would end. The court therefore ruled that written notice had been given in good time.
The employer can also provide certainty about the existence of a permanent contract by confirming this in a letter. However, an employer’s statement is more practical. Then you know that you have filled in everything the bank wants to know. But there is another important reason not to write a letter yourself.
With an employer’s statement, the purpose of the statement is immediately clear: obtaining a mortgage. This is not the case with a letter if the purpose is not mentioned in the letter. If the purpose is missing, the employee can rely on the statement in the letter.
This can be seen from another recent case. Here, the employer claimed that the employee did not have a permanent contract. The letter stating that she had a permanent contract was only intended to help her get a mortgage. The court did not accept this statement. There was therefore a permanent contract and the employer had to continue to pay the salary. Also for the almost four months in which the employee had not worked.
Could this have been prevented by a side letter explaining that the letter was only written to obtain the mortgage? And that the employee therefore could not derive rights from it? Perhaps. But as an employer, you do not want to explain to a court that you lied to a bank.
Would you like to help your employee get a mortgage, but without any risk? Do you have any questions about the notice of termination of a temporary contract? Or would you like to submit a dispute with an employee to us? Please contact:
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