Summary dismissal: legal aid and advice to employers and employees in The Netherlands
As an employment and dismissal lawyer in Amsterdam, we provide direct legal advice and legal assistance in the event of summary dismissal. We advice employers and employees. Summary dismissal means dismissal on the spot, that the employment relationship will terminate with immediate effect. This also applies to the wage payment. Are you about to dismiss an employee summarily or have you been dismissed on the spot with immediate effect by your employer? It is important to take immediate action. Our employment law attorney in Amsterdam can help you.
Dutch Employment Law
There are many rules about dismissal in Dutch Employment Law. There are also special rules in Dutch Law protecting employees against dismissal. According to Dutch Law, an employer needs to follow a legal dismissal procedure if he or she wants to end an employment contract.
This dismissal must meet strict conditions, since the employee can request the Dutch subdistrict court (Cantonal Court) to revoke the dismissal.
Under the laws of the Netherlands, all employees are protected in terms of their employment. An employee has the right to file an employment law claim. The employee has 2 months from the date of termination in which to bring a claim in the Dutch Cantonal Court.
Summary dismissal is in The Netherlands only available in limited situations
This is a risky area of law. Summary dismissal or instant dismissal is only available in limited situations. Our dismissal law attorney in Amsterdam specializes in summary dismissal. Our Amsterdam employment lawyers are aware of the current Dutch case law on dismissal. We are always updated on legal knowledge.
Best course of action to follow: call an employment lawyer
Our employment lawyers can help you understand and decide on the best course of action to follow. An appointment with at one of our lawyers at short notice is always possible .
Summary dismissal and Dutch unemployment benefit
The consequences of termination (as is called dismissal according to the Dutch Employment Law) are serious: an employee will not receive unemployment benefit from the Dutch UWV in the event of immediate termination. An employer may therefore only dismiss immediately in the event of an urgent reason, which must be communicated immediately. According to the law, the following requirements apply to summary dismissals:
- There must be a sufficiently urgent reason;
- This urgent reason must be communicated to the employee immediately (immediately) so that the employee knows of what he is accused so he can defend himself against the dismissal.
Urgent cause or urgent reason
Dismissal on the spot must be given immediately. Although there is some scope for investigation or getting legal advice, this is very limited. An employer should therefore not wait too long before terminating the employment contract in case of an urgent cause.
Termination of employment may occur for many different reasons. The ‘urgent reason’ or ‘urgent cause’ is specified in paragraph 1 of Article 7:677 of the Dutch Civil Code. This is a list of examples that the Dutch law considers to be an urgent reason. Some of these causes are now outdated.
This concerns a serious breach: ‘such acts, characteristics or conduct of the employee as result of which the employer cannot reasonably be expected to allow the employment contract to continue’ (Article 7:678 of the Civil Code) such as:
Termination of employment
- false information regarding the way in which the previous employment contract ended,
- severe lack of ability,
- drunkenness or other debauched behavior, despite warning,
- theft, fraud or other crimes,
- abuse, insulting or seriously threatening,
- recklessly behavior despite warning,
- damaging the employer’s property,
- refusing to comply with reasonable orders or assignments from the employer,
- grossly disregarding the obligations of the employment contract.
Specific circumstances of the case
Even if one of the conditions is met, the specific circumstances of the case may mean that there is no reason to terminate the employment contract. After all, the termination has far-reaching consequences for the employee. An attorney at law can submit a defense to the court. It is then up to the court to decide – in retrospect – whether this dismissal was justified. Circumstances that te court might take into account are:
- the nature and seriousness of the conduct;
- the duration of the employment contract;
- the manner in which the employee has fulfilled the employment relationship;
- the personal circumstances of the employee, such as his age and the consequences that a summary dismissal would have for him.
Proceedings in Amsterdam at the Subdistrict Court
If all the conditions are not met, the court may annul the termination. If the employee’s lawyer – with good reason – brings this before the subdistrict court within 2 months of the day on which the contract was terminated with immediate effect as a result of dismissal, the employment contract will remain in force.
Unjustified summary dismissal
It may also be the case that in the event of unjustified summary dismissal, the employer must pay fair compensation if the employee no longer wishes to remain in service after the dismissal. A wrongful summary dismissal can be very expensive.
Continued payment of salary and re-employment
The employee can apply for continued payment of salary and claim arrears of salary.
The legal process can be very challenging and our attorney can provide you with expert advice. For more help and advice about dismissal, get in touch by phone or email.
Legal advice in the event of summary dismissal: Contact our lawyer in Amsterdam for advice on summary dismissal
In the event of summary dismissal, both employer and employee must act quickly. Summary dismissal is a complex area of law. There are many rules in The Netherlands about summary dismissal. Obtaining legal advice before dismissing an employee is highly recommended. Please contact our Dutch employment and dismissal law attorney in Amsterdam, Mr. P.Chr. Snijders, in the event of summary dismissal or dismissal on the spot.