In the Netherlands employers are obliged to announce to their employees at least one month before the end of the labour contract, whether or not their employment will be extended. However, not every employer notifies their employee in time and not every employee knows about his or her rights. Still, informing employees in time is defined in the labour law. Legally this is called ‘notifying’. In this article we will explain what you need to know about this. 

What is notifying? 

Generally speaking, notifying is the formal announcement of a legal action. With regard to a labour agreement, the employer must notify timely and in writing, what actions they intend to take. With a contract of six or more months, they are obligated to ‘notify’ whether the contract will be extended. And, if applicable, under what conditions. This way you, as an employee, are informed in time whether you will be offered a new agreement or not, so you will not face unexpected surprises. 

What is the proper way for an employer to notify?

For employers, it is important that they inform their staff in time and in the correct way. They are legally obligated to inform employees at least one month before the end date of their contract, both in the case of extension as well as termination of the agreement. Employers are also obligated to notify the employee in question in writing. This is possible through e-mail or WhatsApp. However, it is advisable to do so through a registered letter. This is not only better for the employee, but also advisable for the employer, as they can always show that the notification has been communicated in a legally sound manner. 

What is the notification compensation?

Notification has been legally registered to ensure that employees are informed correctly and in time. For example, this way you can start looking for new employment once you know your contract will not be extended. When the notification deadline has ended and the employee is not properly informed, the employee is entitled to a notification compensation. This compensation is equal to the employee’s wages: For every workday after the notification deadline has ended, the employee is entitled to a workday worth of wages. 

How do you claim the notification compensation?

Was your employer too late notifying you? Then you can claim up to three months worth of compensation after you should have been notified. This right therefore applies to up to two months after your contract has ended. Best case scenario, you and your employer come to an agreement. However, if your employer does not want to cooperate, you can start a legal procedure. This will take extra effort, and possibly additional consultation. But the compensation might very well be worth it. 

Employer’s rights 

An incorrect or late notification is not a reason for employees to demand a new contract. Although employers are legally obligated to provide compensation, they are still free to determine if and how the employment is continued. The employer also has the right, in the case of a temporary contract, to record that the employment will not be extended. When this is recorded as such, the employer is not obligated to notify the employee before the last month of their contract starts. 

Would you like to know more?

On the government website, you can read more about the labour agreement and the notification term. For more information about dismissal, you can check the UWV website. For employee information click here and for employer information click here. These pages are all in Dutch, if you need help navigating these pages, please contact us.

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