Immediate legal assistance with dismissal in The Netherlands

A dismissal situation is often not only annoying, but also complex in The Netherlands. You suddenly find yourself in a field full of legal rules and there are a lot of things that need to be arranged. There are often many questions that you may not know the answer to. For example, should you object to the dismissal or would you rather agree to it? Are you entitled to financial compensation for your dismissal in The Netherlands? And what about your benefit rights? It is very important that you do not jeopardize these by skipping important steps in the dismissal procedure. We are ready to assist you during this emotionally and legally complicated process. Because what you should pay attention to and how complex the procedure is differs per dismissal case.The reason for the dismissal and the route through which the dismissal is arranged are of great importance in determining the rules of the game that will enable you to get through the process as well as possible.

Dismissal via UWV, subdistrict court or settlement agreement

If your employer wants to fire you, he can follow different routes. A dismissal application can go through the UWV or through the subdistrict court . In addition, your employer can ask you, whether or not in close consultation, to agree to a settlement agreement . In that case, there is dismissal with mutual approval and no permission from the UWV or the subdistrict court is required. This permission is also not necessary in the case of instant dismissal, but your employer must have an urgent reason for this. When does which route actually apply?

Dismissal with permission from the UWV

If you are dismissed for economic reasons or because you have been ill for two consecutive years, your employer must request your dismissal from the UWV. The UWV will act as gatekeeper and check whether the application for dismissal meets all the requirements. For example, it is checked whether your dismissal really cannot be prevented and whether your employer has complied with all its obligations. When you are ill, for example, your employer is obliged to do everything in its power to have you reintegrated. And if you are dismissed for economic reasons, for example because of a reorganisation, the UWV will check whether there is really no suitable work for you within the company and whether the correct sequence has been followed when dismissing employees.

A dismissal procedure at the subdistrict court

Dismissal cases that are not related to business economic reasons or long-term illness are referred to the subdistrict court. For example, you can think of dismissal due to a disrupted employment relationship, refusal to work or dysfunction. In such cases, your employer can request the subdistrict court judge to dissolve your employment contract with a well-substantiated dismissal file. Even if the UWV has refused a dismissal permit, your employer can go to the subdistrict court to try to dismiss you through legal proceedings.

You also go to the subdistrict court if you want to challenge your dismissal. For example, because you do not agree with a dismissal permit that has been allocated by the UWV or because you were wrongfully dismissed with immediate effect by your employer. Your employer may immediately dismiss you without the intervention of the UWV or the subdistrict court, provided there is an urgent reason for doing so. An urgent reason is understood to mean seriously culpable acts, such as theft, fraud, assault or aggressive behaviour. If you are fired with immediate effect, you are usually not entitled to unemployment benefits.

The application for dismissal and the statement of defence

If your employer wants to dismiss you via the UWV or via the subdistrict court, this process roughly takes place in three steps. It starts with the application for dismissal or the petition to dissolve your employment contract. This application is submitted by your employer to the UWV or the subdistrict court. This often includes appendices, such as reports of performance interviews or business economic figures. When the application is complete, you will receive a copy of this, which will be sent to you by the UWV or the subdistrict court judge. You then have some time to submit a statement of defence. This is a written defense in which you can state that you do not agree with the intended dismissal or in which you request higher severance pay or other conditions surrounding the dismissal.

The UWV will then inform you in writing whether or not the dismissal permit will be granted. If the procedure is ongoing at the subdistrict court, you will still have to appear at a hearing after you have submitted your statement of defence. Both parties can also express their point of view verbally there. You will then also receive the final decision of the subdistrict court judge in writing.

Dismissal without intervention of UWV or subdistrict court

It is also possible to terminate an employment contract in consultation, without proceedings before the UWV or the subdistrict court. This can be beneficial for both parties, because these types of proceedings often take a long time and are also expensive and uncertain. If you and your employer decide to dismiss by mutual consent, the agreements surrounding your contract will be arranged in a settlement agreement, also known as a termination agreement. This is a route that is often used when employers want to dismiss an employee because of, for example, a labor dispute or dysfunction. By offering you a favorable severance payment, the employer hopes to convince you that signing the settlement agreement in the event of a labor disputethe best solution. Sometimes this is indeed an excellent solution, but there are a number of conditions attached that must be in order.

Keep your benefit rights

If you agree to dismissal via a settlement agreement and therefore without the intervention of the UWV or the subdistrict court, it is very important that you ensure that you do not lose your benefit rights. For this, a number of provisions must be included in the settlement agreement. For example, it must be clear that the dismissal is not your own fault. This means that you have not acted culpably and that the initiative for the dismissal comes from your employer. The correct notice period must also be observed and there must be no illness at the time of your dismissal. When you are ill, it is important to pay close attention if your employer wants to fire you. It is advisable to have a settlement agreement checked by a lawyer.

Dismissal in case of illness

If you are ill for a long time, your employee may propose to you to terminate your employment in good consultation. If he also offers you a nice severance payment, that may seem attractive. However, it is seldom recommended during illness to sign a settlement agreement, because you run a great risk of losing your benefit rights. In the event of illness , a number of rights and obligations apply to both parties, such as a prohibition on dismissal, which generally protects you against dismissal during illness. Always consult a legal advisor if you are ill and your employer wants to fire you.

Legal assistance with dismissal

The law of dismissal is a complex area in which everything stands or falls with following the right rules of the game. Which steps are the right ones to take in a dismissal situation depends to a large extent on the reason for the dismissal and the dismissal procedure. Are you a statutory director or do you work in education ? Then different rules may apply than when you work in the business world. Are you fired while you are ill or are you wrongfully fired the spot ? Then it is important that your defense meets the right conditions.

But even if you have drawn up a settlement agreement in close consultation with your employer, it is advisable to have it legally checked. For example, we can negotiate a higher severance payment for you and can make improvements to the agreement, so that your benefit rights are safeguarded and you get through the dismissal procedure as optimally as possible. The deployment of a dismissal lawyer therefore almost always has added value for you as an employee. We are therefore happy to assist you when you are dealing with dismissal, whether this is via a settlement agreement, via the UWV or at the subdistrict court. Do you want to know what we can do for you? Please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation. We are happy to assist you.