ACCESS NL > Features > When to call a lawyer about work
When to call a lawyer about work
2019-09-09 | By Godelijn Boonman
When you’re confronted with an unpleasant situation in the workplace, as an expat it can be difficult to be sure of your rights and how to respond. So when exactly should you involve a lawyer? Here are four situations when you would be wise to call a lawyer about your work.
When you sign an employment contract, it will often include a non-competition clause. This clause prohibits you from working for companies that compete with your employer’s company for a certain period of time after your employment ends.
Once you have signed the contract, the non-competition clause is generally valid – but not always. For various reasons it could be at least partly invalid.
If you are about to sign a new contract with a non-competition clause, or if your existing non-competition clause is preventing you from working at another company, call a lawyer.
Demotion is the opposite of promotion: a promotion allows you to perform in a higher function, whereas a demotion takes you to a lower function. Demotion can occur due to poor performance or a reorganisation in the workplace.
However, an employer is not allowed to just demote an employee unilaterally. They must meet certain criteria before they can do so.
If you are facing demotion, call a lawyer. They can advise you if the proposition is fair and legal, and explain your options to proceed.
Your employment contract states the conditions under which you agree to work. These conditions include your salary and working hours.
If your employer does not adhere to the employment conditions or wants to change them and you do not agree, get legal advice. In principle, an employer cannot change the employment conditions unilaterally.
It’s also time to call a lawyer if your employer informs you that they are unhappy with your performance and they want to start a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). While a PIP can be used to help an employee succeed, it can also be used for demotion or dismissal. As such, it is a signal that your employment may be at risk.
A lawyer can help you to understand the consequences of a PIP, your rights within the process and the steps that your employer must take before dismissal is possible.
Get help you can trust
If you are facing one of the situations discussed in this article, or you have another question about employment law in the Netherlands, please contact us. Our team of experts can help you work it out.
About the author
Godelijn Boonman is an expert in international employment law at GMW lawyers. Godelijn advises and litigates for both domestic and international companies, organisations and embassies. In addition, she acts for employees, in particular for (statutory) directors and expatriates. A bilingual expat herself, Godelijn Boonman is considered an employment law specialist for the international community.
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