Probationary period in The Netherlands


Lawyer Probationary period in The Netherlands AmsterdamProbationary period according to Dutch Law

Our lawyer employment law in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, provides legal assistance regarding disputes about probationary periods. During the trial period, the employer and employee in The Netherlands can terminate the employment contract immediately, at any time, without permission from the UWV or the Dutch Cantonal court. This is also possible during illness, pregnancy and during an OR membership.

Legal requirements probationary period

A probationary period in The Netherlands must, in order to be valid, meet a number of requirements:

  • it must be agreed in writing,
  • it takes a maximum of one or two months,
  • it commences at the start of the employment contract.

In the event of a collective labor agreement (CAO), the duration of a probationary period may change, but this may never be longer than two months.

Other position and probationary period

If an employee within a company takes up a different position, where other skills and responsibilities play a role, a new probationary period may be agreed.

Cancelling probationary period before the start of employment agreement

Both the employer and the employee can terminate the contract before the employment has started. In certain cases, the employer may be liable for compensation.

Cancellation probationary period and discrimination

The employer is obliged to notify the reason for dismissal during the probationary period if the employee requests so. If it appears that the employer discriminates  during the trial period, due to:

  • pregnancy,
  • chronic illness
  • or distinction between man and woman,

it is possible to start proceedings against the employer.

A fixed-term employment contract and maximum duration

Since 1 January 2015, no probationary period can be included in a fixed employment contract of six months or less.

In an employment contract of more than six months, the same requirements apply as before: the maximum duration is two months, and is one month if the employment contract has been concluded for less than two years. The probationary period must have been entered into in writing and the probationary period should be the same for both parties.

A probationary period of more than one month for a fixed employment contract entered into for a duration of less than two years, is null and void, unless otherwise decided in a CAO or administrative arrangement.

Previous employment contract

According to the Dutch Work and Security Act (WWZ), as from 1 January 2015, a probationary period clause will be null and void if the employer is aware of the competence of this employee on the basis of a previous employment contract with the (same) employee.

A probationary period clause in a successive employment contract, in which the previous and current employer are each others successor, is null and void as of 1 January 2015.

Lawyer Probationary period in The Netherlands AmsterdamContact our Dutch lawyer employment law in Amsterdam about probationary period

Are you looking for involvement and direct, personal contact with an experienced employment law specialist in Amsterdam? Call our specialist lawyer for employment law and dismissal law in Amsterdam for questions and legal advice on employment law, dismissal, probationary period and other employment law issues.


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