Watch our webinar! “Tricky sickness issues”

Personnel: How to dismiss employees with immediate effect?

Publication date: 24 January 2017
When can you dismiss an employee with immediate effect? How do you do this? And what happens if the employee challenges the dismissal?


Termination of employment contract

Employers can terminate employment contracts in different ways:

  • Upon permission from the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) because of commercial reasons or long-term disability
  • Via a request for termination submitted to the subdistrict court because of any of the other reasons
  • By mutual consent
  • Termination during the trial period, and
  • Via dismissal with immediate effect.

Conditions for dismissal with immediate effect

For dismissal with immediate effect there must be an urgent cause. The dismissal must take place immediately, with immediate notification of the urgent cause.

Urgent cause

The employer can dismiss an employee with immediate effect – without observing the applicable notice period – if there is an urgent cause. Examples of urgent causes include, for instance, theft of property of the employer or acts of violence. In certain cases, use of alcohol can also form an urgent reason.

Immediate termination

Instant dismissal must be effected immediately. This means, after the discovery of the urgent cause the employee must be dismissed as quickly as possible. The dismissal can be effected several days after the discovery of the urgent cause, if it can be established that this period was necessary for the investigation of the urgent cause, hearing the employee, internal consultations or seeking legal advice.

Immediate notification

The dismissal must be effected with immediate notification of the underlying urgent cause. The employer must let the employee know as soon as possibly why he is dismissed. This is usually done by sending a detailed written motivation to the employee after the dismissal has been communicated orally.

Ultimate remedy

Dismissal with immediate effect can have far-reaching consequences for the employee. He will not only lose his job, but also his entitlement to transitional compensation and unemployment benefits. Dismissal with immediate effect is therefore also called an “ultimate remedy”, which will only be justified in serious cases.

What does the court consider?

Because of the far-reaching consequences, the dismissal is often challenged by the employee. The employee can challenge the dismissal with immediate effect by requesting the subdistrict court to declare void the dismissal within two months after the dismissal.

In potential proceedings the court will consider whether there is an urgent cause and whether the dismissal was effected immediately and with immediate notification of the urgent cause. In addition, the circumstances of the case will be considered, such as:

  • The length of the employment
  • The functioning of the employee during the employment
  • The age of the employee, and
  • The consequences of the dismissal for the employee.

Proceedings on dismissal with immediate effect can take a long time, which creates an uncertain situation for the employer. In fact, the court can even declare void the dismissal just like that after years of legal proceedings. The employer then has to readmit the employer to his activities when his former position has been taken by a new employee. So it is useful to terminate the employment contract conditionally.

More information

Do you need advice on dismissal of an employee with immediate effect? Or is a dismissal you effected challenged by the employee? Please contact us:

    Share on social media

    • Retail
    • Employment law and dismissal

    Dismissal on the spot for a minor offence. Is that allowed?

    29 July 2020

    Can you dismiss your employee with immediate effect after the theft of a (very) low-value product? Yes, you can! However, a recently published decision shows it does not go without a risk!

    read on
    • 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
    • Employment law and dismissal

    Dismissal of sick statutory director

    18 June 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
    • 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!

    read on
    • 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?

    read on
    • Employment law and dismissal

    Statutory minimum wage as of 1 July 2021

    2 June 2021

    As of 1 July 2021, the statutory minimum wage and minimum youth wage will be increased. What are the new amounts of the minimum wage?

    read on
    • Works Council
    • Employment law and dismissal

    Works council

    4 May 2021

    Is there already a works council in your company? Are you a member of your company’s works council? What are the advantages of having a works council in your company? Jan Dop and Priscilla C.X. de Leede explain the role of the works council and give an overview of the works council’s most important rights.

    read on
    • Expats
    • Administrative law and the environment

    The Netherlands: Gateway to Europe

    3 May 2021

    The Netherlands likes to present itself as “the gateway to Europe.” And not without reason: excellent travel connections (Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and Rotterdam Seaport) and a highly educated population speaking several languages.

    read on