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Changes in Dutch dismissal law – effective date 1 July 2015

  • Netherlands
  • Employment law


Unilateral termination

The preventive dismissal assessment will remain in force. However, as from 1 July 2015 an employer can no longer freely choose between requesting permission from the governmental body UWV to give notice of termination or requesting the Cantonal Judge to dissolve the employment agreement as is now the case.

The new law determines which dismissal route the employer has to take, which will depend on the reason(s) for dismissal. Dismissals for economical, organizational and/or technical reasons and dismissals relating to an employee’s long term sickness will only be dealt with by UWV. All dismissals for other reasons will have to be performed through rescission proceedings by the Cantonal Judge.

Only if there are two or more dismissal grounds as a result whereof both UWV and Cantonal Judge may be competent, the employer may still decide which dismissal route he chooses in accordance with the relevant dismissal ground.

Dismissal with consent and mutual consent termination

The above two routes for termination of an employment agreement do not have to be followed if the employee agrees to the dismissal in writing. However, an employee may within 14 days after execution of the mutual consent termination agreement or after his written consent with his dismissal, nullify the termination agreement or withdraw his consent in writing without giving any reason, as a result whereof the employment agreement will not terminate.

Pensionable age termination

Under current legislation is was already generally accepted that the fact that an employee reaches the (state) pensionable age could be ground for termination of the employment agreement. As of 1 July 2015, the law will provide that an employment agreement may be terminated by giving notice without the preventative test by UWV being applicable when the employee reaches the (state) pensionable age.

Appeal and cassation

Contrary to current law, appeal and cassation of a decision of the Cantonal Judge regarding termination of the employment agreement will be possible for both parties as of 1 July 2015.

Whereas the employer may, if a request for permission to give notice has been denied by UWV, initiate proceedings for rescission by the Cantonal Judge, the employee may also initiate separate legal proceedings at the Cantonal Judge after permission to give notice has been granted.