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Top 5 reasons for layoffs and related rules

30.10.2019

Firing employees, alas, is also part of the business owner's concerns. The reasons may be different, and this does not always happen easily and smoothly and by mutual agreement. Therefore, it is very important to know the relevant rules and regulations. Below we will tell you about the main reasons for layoffs and what is important to know if you decide to part ways with any of the employees. These rules depend on the employment contract, as well as on the reason for dismissal. These can be economic reasons (the business is going through a difficult period), illness, conflict, dissatisfaction with the employee's work. 

  1. Dismissal for economic reasons

If a company finds itself in a difficult economic situation and its profits are severely reduced, layoffs usually cannot be avoided. This is called an economic layoff. In this case, you have two options: to request permission from the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen) or to agree with the employee about the dismissal of their own free will.

  • The least radical way is to dismiss by mutual consent. Discuss the termination with employees and state the reasons and agree on the terms. If you manage to agree, you need to make agreements about the end date and possible refunds.
  • If you cannot agree, ask for permission from the UWV. To get it, you must prove that you have done enough to prevent dismissal. To do this, you must be able to correctly justify the reason for the dismissal. In this case, the fact that you have to fire an employee due to the financial situation of your company.
  1. Dismissal due to dissatisfaction with the work of an employee

If your employee stops doing their job as well as before, sometimes you have to fire. Dismissal due to dissatisfaction with an employee's work means that your employee does not meet the (reasonable) job requirements that you are placing on him. Dismissal in this case occurs through the magistrate (kantonrechter), where you must substantiate, with strong evidence, that your employee does not correspond to the position. Such evidence may include minutes (written descriptions) of performance assessment meetings, letters and emails. Your evidence must demonstrate that you communicated with the employee about their performance and that they had the ability to change something. And also that you have done everything in your power to restore his former productivity, for example, by guiding his activities and further training.

  1. Dismissal due to conflict

Differences in opinions between you and your employee about how he should perform his job duties, other disagreements, incompatibility of characters: all these can cause conflicts at work. If your relationship with an employee is so damaged that it can no longer be corrected and there is no other opportunity within the company that would be suitable for resolving the conflict, you can turn to the magistrate. To do this, of course, is better after talking with the employee himself. 

  1. Sick leave

A long-term sick employee cannot be fired in the first two years of his illness, because in this case the law on legal protection against dismissal applies. After two years of illness or disability, this dismissal prohibition ends and you can fire your employee, provided that:

  • your employee cannot fulfill his job description;
  • You and your employee have put in enough effort to reintegrate, but to no avail;
  • reintegration of your employee is not possible in the foreseeable future;
  • you can prove that your worker will not be able to return to work within 26 weeks.

Under these conditions, you can request a dismissal authorization from UWV.

  1. One day notification

Dismissal one day means that you can literally terminate your employment contract on the same day. You don't need permission from the UWV or a judge, but there must be a good reason. This may be due to, for example, theft, fraud, drunkenness or violence in the workplace. The moment you inform your employee that you are firing him, you must immediately communicate the reason and preferably immediately confirm it in writing. After that, the employee can challenge the dismissal with the magistrate.

You can read more about the reasons and rules for dismissal at link.

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