Every Embassy will at some point come across Dutch law. Whether it concerns hiring an employee on the basis of a fixed-term employment contract or the dismissal of a locally hired staff member, or questions from companies from the home country.

In 2015 Dutch employment law drastically changed, in particular with regard to the dismissal of employees. These changes have a big impact on employers in the Netherlands, especially on Embassies. Being aware of what is and is not allowed under Dutch employment law can significantly reduce the risk of timely and costly procedures. In this newsletter Russell Advocaten will put in order the most relevant aspects of dismissal, including the changes that have become effective as of 2015.

For Embassies, the most drastic change as per 2015 is the requirement of a dismissal permit or legal proceedings to dismiss locally hired staff. Until 2015, this was not mandatory.

Dismissal for economic reasons or long-term incapacity for work
For dismissal for economic reasons or long-term incapacity for work, the Embassy will need permission from the UWV. The UWV will only grant the permit in case the reason for dismissal has been thoroughly substantiated and meets all requirements.

Dismissal for personal reasons or on grounds of a disturbed working relationship
Dismissal for personal reasons (such as inadequate performance) or on grounds of a disturbed working relationship is only possible by submitting a request to the competent subdistrict court to set aside the employment contract. It is important for Embassies to be aware of the fact that since the law has become effective as of 2015, requests to set aside employment contracts have been rejected much more frequently. It concerns in particular requests based on the inadequate performance of employees, in which is decided that the employer has not made sufficiently clear that there is inadequate performance, or has not done
enough to help the employee perform better. This shows how important it is for Embassies to keep sound personnel files before commencing legal proceedings.

More information
This newsletter provides a brief insight into Dutch employment law and the potential consequences for your Embassy. But the Embassy desk of our firm also focuses on:

  • Labour law
  • Rent law / Real estate
  • Investment / Doing business in the Netherlands
  • Matrimonial issues
  • Immunity issuesJan Dop, LL.M, Head of Embassy Desk

Jan Dop,
Head of Embassy Desk