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Written by:
Bas Hollenberg


Employment Termination via Sub District Court

The Sub District Court when allowing a petition for an employment contract to be dissolved is under the obligation to abide by the term of notice in question reduced by the amount of time it has taken the Court to complete the termination proceedings, with the date of termination being fixed at the end of the relevant calendar month. There is not much leeway for the Sub District Court to depart from the statutory prescribed termination period.

The Sub District Court in a particular case established that the employment relations had soured to such an extent that termination was the only way to go. The Court was requested to direct that the employment contract should be terminated as at the first of January 2016. This presented the Court with a problem, as a three-month termination period happened to apply and the Court had handed down its ruling on 30 July 2015, which based on the term of notice less the two-week period it had taken the Court to come to its decision resulted in October being pinpointed as the month of termination of employment, with the actual date of 16 October being pushed back to 31 October owing to the statutory requirement of end-of-month termination.

The petition for the employment contract to be dissolved had inter alia included the request that the Court should award severance pay in the amount of € 23,000 to the employee, this being the amount the employer and employee had reached agreement on. Prevailing legislation however restricts the Sub District Court’s leeway to awarding either a transition allowance or fair compensation. The scenario in question neither involved transition allowance being called for under the Transition Allowance (Transitory Law) Decree of the Netherlands nor fair compensation having to be paid out to the employee (as this would have required the employer to have been found guilty of grave imputable act, of which there was no question in the matter at hand).

The Sub District Court, having duly dismissed both elements of the petition, stayed its decision and directed that the case should proceed to an oral hearing.

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