12 November 2021 2 minutes
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Rules on notice period in the Netherlands

Everything changes as time goes by. Your team of colleagues may change yearly, monthly and in some cases even weekly. Your colleague resigns after 10 years because he moves to a different city, or your new colleague changes his mind and goes for that other job. You too can take a different path and change your career. Notice periods were created to make this transition smoothly as possible for you and your employer. This gives your employer time to find a new staff and you to find a new job, in the event of dismissal.

Which notice periods apply to you and your employer?

The legal notice period is at least 1 month. The exact length of the notice period depends on the length of your employment, but it also has to do with several factors. After reading this blog, you will gain insight about the notice periods between you and your employer.

Cancellation during the probation period

A probationary period is the initial trial run that you as an employee must complete when you are hired. During this period, you but also your employer, can terminate the contract immediately without having to give a proper reason. Is there no probationary period in the collective labor agreement, nor in your employment contract? Then, there is no probation period.

Statutory notice period

The length of the notice period depends on the number of years you have been employed by a company. A notice period of one month always applies to you, provided that your employment contract does not deviate from this. This works slightly differently for your employer. If you have been employed by a company for more than five years, the statutory notice period for your employer changes.

Please note that your employer may only dismiss you if the UWV has given permission for this. This does not apply in the event of termination during the probationary period or in the event of instant dismissal.

Employment duration Employer Notice Period Employee Notice Period
0 – 5 years 1 month 1 month
5 – 10 years 2 months 1 month
10 – 15 years 3 months 1 month
≥15 years 4 months 1 month

Deviating from the notice period

Your employer may agree a longer notice period with you and will include this in the contract. In this case, your employer’s notice period is always twice longer than yours. If your employer has a notice period of three months for you, this means that your employer has a notice period of six months.

The notice period for you as an employee may not be longer than six months (for your employer, one year).

The statutory notice periods may be shortened for your employer, but only if the collective labor agreement permits this.

Start of the notice period

If a notice period of one month is used, the contract must be canceled one month in advance. Suppose you want to leave your job on 1 March, then you must terminate the contract in writing before 1 February.

Notice period regulated in the collective labor agreement

If a collective labor agreement applies to the employment contract, this may contain an arrangement about notice periods. It may be that the notice period is not one, but two or even three months.

Notice period in case of instant dismissal

It is possible that your employer immediately dismisses you for urgent reasons. For example, if you steal, cheat, or refuse to work without a good reason. Your employer will directly tell you the reason for dismissal after which the employment contract will be terminated immediately.

Notice period for a fixed-term contract

In principle, a fixed-term contract cannot be terminated prematurely. This is only possible if an interim termination clause has been included in the employment contract. Usually, the following sentence is included:

This employment contract can be terminated prematurely with due observance of a notice period of one month.

What if there is no interim termination clause?

In this case, you negotiate with your employer about the termination of employment by mutual consent. If your employer wants to dismiss you, the subdistrict court will be requested to terminate the employment contract prematurely.

The importance of a fictitious notice period for the unemployment benefit of you as an employee

Dismissal by mutual consent does not constitute termination of the employment contract. Together with your employer, you agree on a date when the employment contract will end. If you do not do this, the UWV will observe the waiting period and you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits until later.

Do you have any questions? Contact us!