Read the first court rulings on the Work and Security Act: the notification duty and probationary period in fixed-term contracts. More information can be found on our Work and Security Act News Page.
First case law on the Work and Security Act
ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2015:3201: The notification moment
The notification duty is an employer’s duty to inform an employee no later than one month before the termination by operation of law of his or her fixed-term employment contract of the continuation of the employment relationship. The notification as to whether or not the employment contract will be continued may also be given at the start of the fixed-term employment contract. The notification is deemed to have been given in time also in that case. The Subdistrict Court Judge for Utrecht confirmed this. The judge found that the law has not been breached if the notification duty is fulfilled on the conclusion of the employment contract. However, the employer then runs the risk of the employee not being available if it later becomes apparent that the employer does wish to continue the employment contract.
ECLI:NL:RBROT:2015:3883: Notification must be given in writing
The employer failed to comply with the statutory duty to notify the employee one month before the end of the employment contract as to whether or not the contract would be continued. Although the employer had stated during a meeting that the fixed-term contract would not be extended, the law requires written notification and the employer’s oral statement therefore carried no weight, in the judge’s opinion.
ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2015:3968: Notification via WhatsApp
The employer had informed the employee via WhatsApp that it wished to dissolve the employment contract or would apply for a dismissal permit at the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). The employee had responded to that WhatsApp message and it could therefore be assumed that she had received the message. In the judge’s opinion the employer had therefore complied with the written notification duty.
ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2015:3460: Probationary period in fixed-term employment contract unlawful
The employee had entered the employer’s service on 1 March 2015 under a fixed-term employment contract for a period of six months. The employment contract provided for a one-month probationary period. The Subdistrict Court Judge ruled as follows on the question whether the probationary period had been lawfully agreed. Since 1 January 2015 the law provides that no probationary period can be agreed on if the employment contract is concluded for a period of less than six months. Since the parties had agreed on an employment contract for less than six months on 1 March 2015, they therefore could not agree on a probationary period.