Do you have a temporary contract of six months or longer? Then the legal notice period applies. Your employer must then indicate in writing at least one month before the end of your contract whether or not he will continue your employment contract. If he does not do so, you are entitled to a compensation for notice. However, this compensation must be invoked in a timely manner. In this article, our employment lawyer from Amsterdam, Paul Snijders, discusses a ruling in which this was not done in time.
The employer had also suspended salary because company property had not been returned on time. Was this allowed?
Termination of employment contract in The Netherlands
According to our labor law specialist, the employee in question had a fixed-term employment contract from November 22, 2021 to June 21, 2022. On June 20, 2022, the employer sent a notice stating that the contract had ended and that the employee was no longer employed.
Wages suspended for failure to turn in company clothes
The final wage payment was also suspended because the company clothing had not been turned in.
Expired transition and notice pay
On October 26, 2022, the Dutch employee sent a petition to the former employer claiming payment of the transition and notice compensation. The employer defended itself by arguing that it was late in doing so. According to our employment law attorney, the right to claim the notice compensation expires three months after the day on which the notice obligation arose, May 21, 2022. For the transition compensation, the authority to request it expires three months after the day the employment contract was terminated, June 21, 2022.
Since the request was filed on Oct. 26, 2022, the employee was too late for both requests. Thus, the Netherlands court also ruled that the employee was not entitled to the allowances given the expiration of expiration time.
Pay suspension for failure to return company property on time?
The question also arose as to whether the employer was authorized to suspend final pay because the employee had not turned in company property on time. According to our Dutch labor law specialist, wage suspension is a very drastic measure and is therefore only allowed in exceptional situations. Thus, the employer did not take the right route to recover the company’s clothing by opting for wage suspension. That was too harsh a remedy.
The law does allow the employer to suspend salary per se. This can be done, for example, when an incapacitated employee fails to comply with reasonable monitoring requirements of the employer.
Failure to return company property upon termination
If a departing employee fails to return company equipment, such as a laptop or mobile phone, it can cause a significant cost to the employer.
Property may include a company laptop, mobile phone, computer equipment, keys or clothes. Some employment reserve the right to deduct from an employee’s salary any money owed to the company, which includes the cost of replacing company property that is not returned upon termination.
The Dutch court ruled that failure to return work clothes however did not constitute grounds for salary suspension. It therefore ordered the employer to pay the final salary payment to the employee.
Contact an employment lawyer in Amsterdam about severance pay and salary suspension
Please contact our lawyers if we can assist you with any labour relations matters whether you are an employer or employee. Our lawyers in Amsterdam will advocate on your behalf with strong and knowledgeable legal counsel. Our goal is to resolve legal matters through a tactful negotiation, if possible, and by decisive litigation when it is not. We give pragmatic, cost effective advice. For further information about Dutch Employment and Labor Law, please contact our Employment Contract lawyer in Amsterdam: 0031 20 5221999