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Dismissal and expiry periods

Publication date: 8 April 2021
Expiry periods in employment law are strict. If you are too late, you cannot take action against the dismissal and forfeit the right to compensation. What are the deadlines you have to keep in mind?

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If employees want to take action against their dismissal or receive transition compensation, they should not wait too long. The same applies to an employer who does not agree with the refusal from the UWV to terminate an employment contract. The court can only ignore expiry periods in very exceptional cases; for example, if the employer first creates confusion about who the actual employer is due to which the employee submits the correct request too late. An employer who intentionally neglected to inform employees about the expiry period for their entitlement to transition compensation could not refer to this deadline either.

Expiry periods

For claims related to the end of employment contracts, there are expiry periods of two months and three months.

Expiry periods of two months apply to the following:

  • Wage claim in the event of termination without observing the prescribed notice period
  • Contesting a termination for urgent cause, including compensation
  • Request for annulment of notice or a fair compensation
  • Request for reinstatement of employment contract
  • Request for reassignment, if someone has been hired for the same or similar work within 26 weeks. The period starts when it is established that someone has been hired, but not later than 26 weeks after the end of the employment contract.
  • Request for termination of employment contract after the refusal by the UWV to terminate the employment contract for commercial reasons or long-term illness of the employee.

Expiry period of three months apply to the following:

  • Requests concerning transition compensation.
  • Requests for compensation due to breach of the employer’s duty of notification.

How is the expiry period calculated?

In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court established that the expiry period ends on the day of the month corresponding to the day on which the employment contract was terminated. It does not matter whether the employment contract was terminated without observing the prescribed notice period or not. If the employment contract ends on 28 February, the last day on which a request for transition compensation can be submitted is 28 May. If the last day of the expiry period does not fall on a working day, the following working day will be the last day. So, if 28 May falls on a Saturday, the expiry period will end on Monday, 30 May.

This is a confusing choice. The end of the employment contract is linked to the end of the month, so why does the expiry period not end on the last day of May, i.e. the 31st?  But until the Supreme Court decides otherwise, we will have to make do with the current calculation method.

Practical tips

  • Give notice by the last day of the month and not the first day of the following month.
  • Make haste when it comes to submitting requests related to the termination of the employment contract. Too late is too late!
  • Pay attention to the calculation of the expiry periods. Consult a lawyer for this, because this regulation is not included in the law, but only in case law.

Employment lawyer

Do you have any questions about expiry periods? Are you, as an employer, looking for legal assistance in the event of the dismissal of an employee? Or do you have any other questions about employment law? Please contact us:

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