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Netherlands
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • Civil Code [CC], Book 7, title 10 1822, as subsequently amended and updated until July 1st, 2017
    (Book 7 Particular agreements,Title 7.10 Employment agreement)
    Date: 01 Jul 2017; view website »
  • Dismissal Regulations (DR)
    Date: 01 Jul 2015; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Collective Redundancy Notification Act [CRNA], 24 March 1976, as subsequently amended in July 2015
    (Wet melding collectief ontslag - available only in Dutch)
    Date: 01 Jul 2015; view website »
  • Equal Treatment Act, 1994 as last amended in 2015
    (Algemene Wet Gelijke Behandeling)
    Date: 01 Jul 2015; view website »
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: none

Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 2 month(s)

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 3
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)
  • % of workforce under FTC: 20.6 %

Notes / Remarks
In the Netherlands, as part of anti crisis measures, a new Act, which came into force in July 2010, temporarily extended the possibility to conclude fixed-term contracts with young workers up to 27 years The Act allowed for concluding a total of four, rather than three successive fixed-term employment contracts with regard to this group and for maximum duration of four years rather than three. The Act expired in January 2012. As a result, those specific rules for young workers are no longer applicable.

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; sex; sexual orientation; religion; political opinion; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; performing military or civil service; whistle blowing

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers performing military/alternative service

Notes / Remarks
Under Dutch law, an employer who intends to dismiss an employee must, based on the nature of the dismissal (economic or due to the worker’s conduct or capacity), either refer to:
1) termination via a prior permit from the administrative authority UWV WERKbedrijf (in case of economic dismissals or dismissals due to long-time sicknesses), or
2) judicial rescission of the contract (in case of the other types of dismissals).
In addition, summary dismissal is permitted provided there is an "urgent cause".

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: no specific form required

Notice period:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 1 year
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 4 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: Yes

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2019    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    At least 20 employees over 3 months by one employer and within one former CWI-area (Organisation for Work and Income now UWV WERKbedrijf).
    As of 1 March 2012, terminations by mutual agreement shall also be included in the number of dismissed employees for the purpose of determining whether a collective dismissal is taking place. This means that when an employer intends to dismiss 20 or more employees within 3 months regardless of the mode of termination (dismissal via UWV, judicial rescission or termination by mutual agreement), the notification requirement (trade unions and UWV) shall be observed.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: Yes

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Notes / Remarks
    Changes on collective dismissal, effective since 1 March 2012:

    - Terminations by mutual agreement shall also be included in the number of dismissed employees for the purpose of determining whether a collective dismissal is taking place. This means that when an employer intends to dismiss 20 or more employees within 3 months regardless of the mode of termination (dismissal via UWV, judicial rescission and now termination by mutual agreement), the notification requirement (trade unions and UWV) shall be observed.

    - Under the previous system, in the event of non-compliance with notification requirements (set out in the Collective Redundancy Notification Act), the UWV WERKbedrijf did not consider the application for dismissal until the employer had fulfilled his obligations.
    The UWV WERKbedrijf is now required to examine whether the employer has met the notification obligations set out by the Act. In the event the employer did not comply with the obligation to report or consult, an employee is now able to nullify the termination of employment (whether by notice or by mutual agreement) within six months after the notice was given or the termination agreement was concluded. If the termination is successfully nullified, the employee is restored to its position with retroactive effect, and is entitled to bring an action for back wages plus statutory interest and increase.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.66 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 1.32 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1.65 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 3.33 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 8.33 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.66 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 1.32 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1.65 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 3.33 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 8.33 month(s)

    Notes / Remarks
    “Transition remuneration” is statutory severance pay. There is no distinction anymore between the type of dismissal (redundancy or for personal conduct): the “transition remuneration” also counts as redundancy payment. Social plans can establish higher amounts. However, based on the CC the employer has to pay the “transition remuneration” anyway.

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2019    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts

    Existing arbitration: No

    Source of additional information - 2019    

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