Quitting your job and entitlement to Dutch unemployment benefits


Is it wise to quit your job or to resign, given your entitlement to unemployment benefits in The Netherlands (WW)?

Is it wise to quit your job or to resign, given your entitlement to unemployment benefits in The Netherlands (WW)? Amsterdam

We, as employment lawyers in Amsterdam, deal with giving and taking resignations on a daily basis. A question that is often asked of our Dutch dismissal lawyers, when we give expats advice about dismissal, is whether it is wise for an employee to quit his or her job in Holland. Also in view of your entitlement to Dutch unemployment benefits.

Whether or not resigning is sensible depends entirely on whether, for example, you already have another job in or outside The Netherlands.

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Resigning and the notice period in the The Netherlands

Perhaps you already have a new job, then resigning yourself would not be a problem, because as long as you respect the one month notice period, you can simply join your new employer at the end of it. Unless, for example, you have problems with a non-competition clause.

Resigning yourself but not yet having a new job: not entitled to Dutch unemployment benefits

Another thing is to resign if you do not yet have a new job. If you decide to quit your job, your contract will end. The consequences of your own resignation will also be at your expense. This means, among other things, that if you resign, you are not entitled to Dutch unemployment benefits.

Condition UWV: not voluntarily unemployed

After all, the condition for a benefit is that you are not voluntarily unemployed. And that is what you are if you give notice to your employer.

Who takes the initiative to terminate your employment contract?

A smart employee does not resign but takes a better approach. He or she ensures that the employer can offer him or her a settlement agreement. A standard stipulation in a termination agreement is that the initiative to terminate the employment contract comes from the employer. In principle, you can therefore apply for a benefit from the UWV.

What exactly is a settlement agreement according to Dutch employment law?

What exactly is a settlement agreement? It is very common in Holland to make use of the possibility of a termination agreement instead of terminating the contract yourself. Many Dutch employers are willing to do this. Especially

  • if the employment relationship is not quite optimal, or if, for example,
  • there is a sick report that causes problems but that can be solved
  • or if the employer has hinted that he actually wants to say goodbye to you.

Dismissal by mutual consent with the help of a Dutch employment lawyer instead of resigning yourself

Most employment disputes are resolved with the help of a Dutch employment lawyer when you are discharged by mutual agreement. This means that an agreement will contain all the details about the dismissal. For example,

  • the end date of the contract,
  • any release from work and
  • what will be paid in the final settlement.

Satisfactory settlement of the dismissal

Finally, with the help of a Dutch lawyer based in Amsterdam who knows everything about employment law, you can also make agreements about, for example, the content of a certificate or the applicability of a non-competition clause. This will enable you to reach a satisfactory settlement of the dismissal.

Anything is better than resigning yourself

You could say that anything is better than resigning yourself in Holland. With a Dutch settlement agreement, the chance of receiving Dutch unemployment benefits is as big as possible. Moreover, Dutch legal practice proves that it is always possible to negotiate a settlement agreement with the employer. In most cases, the initial offer is not what eventually rolls out.

Find an Amsterdam lawyer for drafting and negotiating in case of dismissal with mutual agreement

Our Dutch lawyers in Amsterdam are specialists in drafting and negotiating in case of dismissal with mutual agreement. We can advise you on all parts of the dismissal arrangement, such as severance pay.

Legal advice costs

An additional advantage is that the legal advice costs of a Dutch dismissal lawyer are in most cases for the account of the employer. This is because the employer understands that a good agreement solves many problems and keeps parties away from the Dutch cantonal court.

Are you thinking about resigning?

First call our Dutch labor lawyers in Amsterdam for advice on the settlement agreement. If you have received such an agreement, we can of course advise you on its contents and, if necessary, contact your employer to come to a better arrangement.

Subdistrict court proceedings instead of resigning yourself

Are you thinking about resigning through proceedings before the subdistrict court? Then you need to be very careful. Among other things, an expat will only be entitled to severance pay under strict conditions. But if you terminate your employment in this way, you still run the risk of not receiving unemployment benefits from the Dutch UWV.

Therefore, as a Dutch employment lawyer, we will always advise you to say goodbye to your employer as nicely as possible. In almost all cases, a termination agreement is the best solution.

Dismissal agreement: always the best solution?

Only, there are a few exceptions to this. First of all, it is not wise to agree on a termination agreement with your employer if you are sick.

Payment during illness

You are entitled to continued payment during illness for a maximum of 2x 52 weeks. If you agree to a voluntary departure during that period, the Dutch UWV will not want to give you an allowance.

Temporary contract

The same problem arises if you have a temporary contract and that contract does not contain a termination clause. The UWV may then demand that you first finish the contract. If, during the term of the contract, you nevertheless conclude a separation arrangement with the employer, this is at your own risk.

Entitlement to WW upon resignation: call a Dutch employment law attorney first

In short, if you want to quit your job, do it with the help of a specialized labor lawyer in Amsterdam and in a sensible way. If you do not yet have a new job, make sure that your entitlement to Unemployment Insurance (WW) remains as guaranteed as possible. This is possible if the settlement agreement meets certain conditions. Of course, we as Amsterdam lawyers can advise you on this if you want to leave your employer.

Call our law firm in Amsterdam as soon as possible if you have decided to leave your employer. The lawyers at our law firm will check all aspects of such an arrangement and can therefore ensure that the content of your termination agreement is as optimal as possible.

Contact a lawyer at Amsterdam employment law about self-resignation

Are you looking for involvement and a direct, personal contact with an experienced employment law specialist in Amsterdam? Call our specialized lawyer in employment and dismissal law for questions and legal advice on self-resignation. 

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