Redundancy in The Netherlands is a complex area of law. It is important to obtain independent Dutch legal advice to ensure the legality of the redundancy itself and to safeguard your redundancy entitlements.
If you’ve been put at risk of redundancy or been made redundant in the Netherlands, it helps to have expert Dutch solicitors on your side. Our Dutch redundancy lawyers in Amsterdam can advise you on your rights and ensure you’re being treated fairly.
Redundancy in The Netherlands: the correct procedures
Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but an employer must use the correct procedures in The Netherlands..
An employer can file a request to UWV (Dutch UWV is the board that decides a.o. about unemployment benefits and dismissal for economic reasons) in order to obtain a permit for dismissal based on economic grounds.
According to the existing rules (UWV Implementing Rules), a legally valid business dismissal requires a structural loss of jobs.
In addition, there must be no possibility of reassigning the employee to another suitable position within a reasonable period of time, with or without the help of training.
The employer will also have to demonstrate that the decision underlying the loss of jobs is necessary in the interest of efficient business operations.
Business reasons for redundancy may therefore be: a poor financial situation, work reduction, organizational changes, technological changes or termination of business activities.
UWV checks whether what is submitted sufficiently supports the request for a dismissal permit. The employer will have to explain that the intended changes are necessary for an efficient company management.
Dutch principle of reflection
In all this, the Dutch principle of reflection applies. For each age group (including payroll employees), the employer must first nominate the employee with the shortest employment contract for dismissal.
In the reflection principle, employees with similar (“interchangeable”) jobs are divided into age groups. Within each age group it is examined who was last hired. These employees are then fired first. It concerns the following age groups:
15 to 25 years;
25 to 35 years;
35 to 45 years;
45 to 55 years;
55 years and older.
The reflection principle does not need to be used by the employer as (a.o.):
-the company or business establishment is going to close down 100%;
-a unique function will cease to exist. This is a function that is only filled by 1 employee;
-a category of interchangeable functions in its entirety will lapse.
Settlement agreement and redundancy
Many employers in The Netherlands prefer to conclude a settlement agreement with the employee in case of redundancy. This is to avoid a lengthy procedure at the UWV. Our lawyers are also specialized in advising on settlement agreements.
WS Advocaten (lawyers and solicitors) are the recognised experts in Dutch employment law and can achieve the best result for you.
If you are facing redundancy at work then, dependant on your length of service, you may have certain rights, including:
- Redundancy pay
- A notice period
- Time to look for a new job
Contact our Amsterdam employment/labour lawyers as soon as you’re placed at risk of redundancy. WS Advocaten in Amsterdam will support you through the legal process.