New dismissal law for Embassies and Consulates

There have been major changes to employment law in the Netherlands in 2015, and even more changes are yet to come. These changes include strengthening of the legal position of flex workers, and reforming dismissal law. Some of the changes will have serious consequences for the locally hired personnel of Embassies, Consulates and Diplomats. We will discuss these amendments in a series of articles in Diplomat Magazine. Previous articles dealt with fixed-term employment contracts and the tightening of the regulation regarding successive fixed-term contracts. This article will deal with the consequences of the introduction of two mandatory dismissal procedures as from 1 July 2015.

Permission and consent required for dismissal
Up until 1 July 2015, Embassies and Consulates can terminate an employment contract without permission from the UWV or prior consent from the employee. Due to the abolition of the Labour Relations Special Decree 1945, this exception will disappear. As from 1 July 2015, consent from the employee will be required, for instance in the form of a termination agreement, otherwise one of the two mandatory dismissal procedures will have to be followed: either via the UWV or via the subdistrict court, depending on the reason for the dismissal.

Termination agreement
The basic principle of the new regulation is that employer and employee will agree by mutual consent on the termination of the employment contract. If they don’t come to an agreement, the mandatory dismissal procedure must be followed. The prohibition against termination in the event of illness will remain effective, and so the risk will still remain after 1 July 2015 that the employee will call in sick to prevent termination. The employer can prevent this by starting termination proceedings before the negotiation process.

Another innovation is that the employee will be given a reflection period of two weeks after he has consented to his dismissal. This means that if the employee agrees to the termination of the employment contract by signing a termination agreement or by giving his consent in writing, the employee will be given a 14-day period to think the matter over. Within this period the employee is entitled to withdraw in writing his consent to the dismissal without giving any reasons. The employer must notify the employee of this reflection period in writing within two days after the termination agreement has been signed or after the employee has agreed to the dismissal. If that does not happen, the reflection period will be extended to three weeks.

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