Last call for WWZ

Last call for WWZ

As you are aware, the law on employment law changed as of 1 January 2015. Employers are therefore already bound to the new regulations with regard to the probationary period, the non-competition clause and the notification obligation. However, as of 1 July 2015, more changes will come into force. What do you need to know? Please take note of the following relevant issues.

Dismissal law will change

The new law on dismissal holds many changes. The grounds for dismissal will determine the dismissal route. It will therefore no longer be possible to choose the route for dismissal. You are either sent to the UWV or the Court. The UWV may only handle dismissal requests that are based on economic reasons or in case of long-term incapacity for work. The Court will be competent in all other cases. The law provides 8 limited grounds for dismissal. These grounds contain strict conditions. Only if all of the conditions for one of the grounds have been met, dismissal will be possible. For example, a dismissal due to non-performance requires proof of a sufficient improvement plan on the performance. In addition, in all cases, the employer must show proof that there are no possibilities to reassign the employee to an alternative suitable position and that training or schooling would not make a difference.

An ill employee will be protected even more than under current law. Should the employer need to dismiss employees for economic reasons, it is no longer possible to dismiss an ill employee via the Courts. The only exception is if the employer can prove to the UWV that the employee is expected to recover within 4 weeks. When the principle of proportionality would force you to select an ill employee, the new law makes it possible to select the next employee in that age category.

The termination agreement with mutual consent

It will still be possible to reach an amicable settlement and avoid UWV or Court proceedings. However, the new law provides several statutory provisions to that end. An important change is the fact that the employee may reconsider and revoke his or her consent within 14 days after signing the agreement, for which the employee is not obliged give any reason. If this right to invoke has not been explicitly mentioned in the termination agreement, the period during which the consent may be revoked is extended to 3 weeks.

No more A x B x C

In case of dismissal, all employees will be entitled to the same severance payment. The cantonal court formula will no longer be used by the Courts to calculate such severance. Employees are entitled to the so-called transition compensation. This severance payment is owed to each employee who is dismissed, or whose employment contract is not renewed and has been employedby the company for at least 24 months. It is irrelevant whether or not the employee is to be blamed for the dismissal, unless the employee can “severely” be blamed for the dismissal. Strangely enough, the transition compensation is not an obligatory severance payment in case parties come to a termination agreement. However, it is to be expected that employees will start any negotiation with the transition compensation as a minimum. The transition compensation is calculated based on the years of service. During the first 10 years of service, every 6 months of employment results in 1/6 part of the monthly gross salary. Every 6 months of employment after 10 years of service, results in ¼ part of the monthly gross salary. Only in highly exceptional situations (‘serious imputable acts or omissions on the part of the employer’), the Court can award an additional compensation to the employee. No formula to calculate such severance is known yet.

Chain of fixed term contracts

Under current law, it is possible to agree upon 3 employment contracts for a fixed period of time as long as the total duration of the 3 contracts does not exceed 36 months. If you stay within this scope, the contract will not be considered to be a contract for an indefinite period of time. The maximum number of fixed-term contracts that can be entered into successively will remain 3. However, the maximum duration has been set to 24 months. If the maximum duration exceeds the 24 months, the last contract in the series will automatically be considered to be for an indefinite period of time. In case of an interruption of more than 6 months in the series of contracts, a new series will start, and the chain starts again.

Need more information? Want to know how to change your HR strategy, be WWZ-proof and save money for the company? Contact the employment law team at Certa Legal + 31 (0) 20 521 66 99 or Jolanda de Groot, LLM, directly at degroot@certalegal.nl

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