Employment contracts

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Does Dutch employment law apply to me?

What is a CAO (collective labour agreement)?

How do I know that my contract is in accordance with Dutch law?

Which information is usually included in an employment contract?

I want to know whether or not the employers in the Netherlands are obliged to pay a majority of the employee’s travel to work expenses, and if they're not, is there a way I can claim it back in taxes?

What are my legal rights and obligations when I have a temporary employment contract?

What are my legal rights and obligations when I have a permanent employment contract?

What are my legal rights and obligations when I have an employment contract with an employment agency?

What are the rules for dismissal?

A temporary employment contract ends on an agreed date or during a trial period. In both cases, there is no dismissal procedure.

An employer must have good reasons to dismiss you when you have a permanent contract. You can be dismissed:

  • For (business) economic reasons, such as when a reorganisation takes place or a company closes down or relocates. This could include part of the company’s activities being closed down
  • If you do not perform well or are no longer suitable for the job. However, you cannot be dismissed if this is the result of illness. Note: your employer must have repeatedly pointed out that you are not performing or have performed insufficiently, preferably in an appraisal or performance interview. You must be given time to improve your performance
  • If there is a conflict with your employer and the relation between you and your employer is beyond repair
  • If you have serious conscientious objections to your duties and your employer is not able to offer you a different job or suitable work
  • If you are long-term occupationally disabled
  • For improper conduct, for example, if you forge certificates, threaten colleagues, endanger yourself or others or if you do not observe the duty of confidentiality
  • If you steal, commit fraud, refuse work without good reason or come to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs (summary termination)
  • If you and your employer mutually agree to the dismissal

There are a number of restrictions for dismissal. You cannot be dismissed on the grounds of your gender or when you are pregnant. Your employer can only dismiss you:

  • When he has a dismissal permit from the UWV Werkbedrijf.
  • If he goes to court to dissolve your employment contract.
  • In case of summary termination.
  • During your trial period, or
  • With your consent.

The employer needs permission for dismissal and has two options depending on the reasons for dismissal: via a district or cantonal court, if the working relationship is damaged, or the UWV, in case of economic reasons or illness. However, in case of summary termination, the employment contract ends with immediate effect. Your employer does not need permission from the UWV Werkbedrijf. He or she must immediately tell you why you have been dismissed.

If you have been dismissed, your employer must observe a period of notice, so you should be told in advance that you will be dismissed. The period of notice is often mentioned in your contract or CAO. If not, the following periods of notice should be observed:

  • If you were working with the employer less than five years: one month
  • If you were working with the employer between five and ten years: two months
  • If you were working with the employer between 10 and 15 years: three months
  • If you were working with the employer 15 years or more: four months

You can also agree with your employer that you will stop work immediately. You must both consent to this. If you resign, you must observe a notice period of one month. Your employment contract may state otherwise, provided it is in writing.

I have some legal issues with my employment contract. Where can I get a legal assistance?

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Which possibilities are available for special leave?