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Reorganisation & Restructuring

Dismissal during reorganisations and/or restructuring

A reorganisation involves a lot of work, especially in the legal field.

Valegis advises both employers and employees on the restructuring of a company, redundancy and dismissal during reorganisations, including redundancy plans (possibly containing a social plan).

Which ‘desk’ do you need to be at?

In the event of a reorganisation within a company, applying to the UWV for dismissal permits is the dismissal route prescribed in the Work and Security Act (WWZ).

Of course, an employment contract can also be terminated by mutual consent. In that case, the parties must agree on the conditions of the dismissal. We are very experienced in advising and negotiating the termination of the employment contract by mutual consent and assisting employer and employee in dismissal procedures.

How is determined who is eligible for dismissal?

The law stipulates that an employer may not select on the basis of quality, but in the selection of who must be dismissed, the so-called reflection principle on the composition of the workforce must be applied. This means that, within a company, categories of interchangeable jobs are divided into age categories and that subsequently, for each age category, the employees who are employed for the shortest amount of time may be dismissed. The aim is to ensure that the age structure of employees in the category of interchangeable jobs remains as similar as possible before and after the reorganisation.

If an employee is incapacitated for work, a prohibition of termination applies and the UWV will, in general, not grant permission to terminate the employment contract of this sick employee. Instead, another employee may be nominated for dismissal.

UWV dismissal procedure

There’s a lot involved in this procedure. A lot of information has to be delivered in a short time and in the right way. Experience shows that for many employers this is an unfathomable and difficult process. For our lawyers in the employment law team it is a daily activity and we will gladly assist you.

We are also happy to assist employees whose position expires in a reorganisation, to assess whether their employer has followed the rules that apply in a UWV dismissal procedure.

Transition fee

The law stipulates that an employer owes the transition fee if the employment contract is terminated on the initiative of an employer. In the event of a (collective) dismissal, the transition fee is therefore due in principle. Of course, we can calculate the fee owed.

Participation

In many reorganisations, the works council will have the right to advice. See the subject ‘participation‘ on our site. This process listens very closely, if a Works Council is involved in a reorganisation too late or not at all, this can have major (negative) consequences for the company.

In many cases, pursuant to the Collective Redundancy (Notification) Act and/or the CLA, trade unions must also be involved in the process.

Social plan

A social plan is drawn up by an employer if the reorganisation has a certain collective character. A social plan describes the provisions that will be received by the employees who will be dismissed. It will often be a dismissal fee that is determined on the basis of the statutory transition fee or a fee that is higher than this, and in addition, for example, assistance is provided in finding a new job.

Collective dismissal

In some cases, the obligations of the Collective Redundancy (Notification) Act come into play. This is the case if 1) there is an intention to terminate the employment contract of at least 20 employees within a period of three months and 2) these employees all work within the same field of activity of the UWV.

Possibilities for a test in second instance

Since 1 July 2015, the cantonal court may also dissolve the employment contract on grounds of business-economic circumstances if the UWV has refused permission for the termination. This is in fact a form of appeal. In this respect, the cantonal court is bound by the same assessment frameworks as the UWV. Conversely, it may also be the case that the employee, whose employment contract has been terminated by the employer with the consent of the UWV, appeals to the court and tries to reverse the dismissal.

Our experienced lawyers will gladly think along with you.

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