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New employment law: One dismissal route depending on the reason for dismissal

Publication date: 23 April 2015
There will be major changes to employment law in the Netherlands as from 1 July 2015. Russell Advocaten will inform you of these changes by a series of newsletters. This time: One dismissal route depending on the reason for dismissal.

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Dismissal for economic reasons or long-term incapacity for work

UWV or dismissal review committee

For dismissal for economic reasons or long-term incapacity for work, the employer will need permission from the UWV. In the event the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CAO) includes a redundancy committee, the employer will need permission from this committee for a termination on grounds of economic reasons (instead of a permit from the UWV).

Redundancy criteria in case of dismissal for economic reasons

The principle of proportionality will still apply when it comes to designate employees for dismissal for economic reasons. In brief, within a certain category of exchangeable positions, employees with the shortest length of service will have to be dismissed per age group. However, in the future the employer will get the possibility to keep employees out of the proportionality system whose performance is above average or whose potential is above average. There will be a Ministerial regulation on grounds of which, under certain conditions, the employer can deviate from proportionality up to a maximum of 10% of the employees that would be eligible for dismissal based on the principle of proportionality. The application of this regulation will have to be agreed upon in a collective bargaining agreement. If a redundancy committee will be established by CAO, said CAO can entirely deviate from the principle of proportionality.

Termination within four weeks after permission

After having received permission to terminate the employment, the employer will have to terminate the employment contract within four weeks. If the employment contract is not terminated within four weeks, the permission will be invalid and must be requested once more.

Employee’s protest against granting permission

If the employee does not agree with the permission and the subsequent termination of employment, he or she can request the subdistrict court to reinstate the employment contract and to grant him or her a fair compensation (see Severance pay). The subdistrict court shall assess the request against the same criteria as the UWV or the redundancy committee.

Employer’s protest against refusal to grant permission

If the UWV or the redundancy committee does not grant permission to terminate the employment, the employer will not be able to lawfully terminate the employment. In that event, the employer may request the subdistrict court to terminate the employment. The subdistrict court shall assess the request against the same criteria as the UWV or the redundancy committee.

Dismissal for personal reasons or on grounds of a disturbed working relationship

Employment contracts set aside in courts

Dismissal for personal reasons (in contrast to long-term incapacity for work) or on grounds of a disturbed working relationship is only possible by submitting a request to the competent subdistrict court to set aside the employment contract.

Appeal and cassation

In contrast to the current situation, it will be possible to appeal or to appeal in cassation to all decisions of the subdistrict court, thus also to rejected or allowed requests for dismissal.

Action

  • Make sure you have checked which body you have to address before you start dismissal proceedings.
  • Take into account longer dismissal proceedings.
  • Make sure to maintain an adequate personnel file.

More information

Would you like to know more about the new employment laws? Or do you have any other questions regarding the right way to hire and dismiss personnel? Please contact:
Jan Dop, LL.M. (jan.dop@russell.nl).

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