Job loss is a reality of professional life, but what happens next doesn’t have to come as a shock. Despite the stress that comes with job insecurity, both Dutch and non-Dutch employees in the Netherlands may anticipate being pretty well protected.

The Netherlands is renowned for having excellent worker protections. One reason is that the Netherlands does not adhere to the concept of “at-will termination,” therefore it is unlikely that you will ever be caught off guard by your employment status. In reality, before you leave a job, your company must give you at least one month’s notice, providing you time to prepare you.

Impact on your residence

Being fired from your job can also have an effect on your residency status if you required a visa to work in the Netherlands. The amount of time you have to live in the Netherlands, look for a new job, and have access to unemployment benefits will vary depending on the kind of work or resident visa you possess.

The majority of work visas in the Netherlands are issued for periods of 3 months, 1 year, or 5 years. Your ID card will often include this period as well as an expiration date (expiratiedatum). As soon as your “reason for stay” (Bijzonderheden) in the Netherlands changes, this date is no longer valid. The date on your ID card is no longer valid if your “reason for stay” in the Netherlands is employment.

Highly skilled migrant

Before their residency is cancelled, highly skilled migrants have three months from the conclusion of their contract to begin a new work. If your residence permit was set to end earlier, you wouldn’t get these extra three months. As long as you begin working at the new company within three months, you can transfer your 30% ruling benefits.

Search year

In order to allow recent graduates the option to live in the Netherlands while they look for work, the Orientation Year was introduced. Since your residency will end on the “expiration date” listed on your residence card, being dismissed while in the orientation year will have no effect on it. You must find employment with a firm prepared to offer you a recognised sponsor Highly skilled migrant visa throughout this orientation year period in order to extend your stay in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, in the event of a dismissal, it is not feasible to prolong or apply for a subsequent orientation year.

Paid employment permit (GVVA):

Employees with a GVVA permit who are assigned to the Netherlands for a lengthy period of time (more than a year) will have three months from the end of their contract to find a new position. Your residence will remain in effect for an additional three months after the stated expiration date.

The effects of being fired will be the same for you and your family member if you moved to the Netherlands because of their work. For instance, if your spouse loses their job while on a highly skilled migrant visa, you and your spouse will only be able to stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of three months, unless your spouse finds employment elsewhere.

Reason for dismissal

Temporary contract

Temporary contracts already have pre-determined end date, therefore it is up to your employer to renew it and you cannot do anything in case they decide not to do so.

You cannot end a temporary contract early unless both you and your employer agree to do so or unless you and your employer have specifically stated otherwise in the contract. Most importantly, your company must inform you if your temporary contract will be renewed or not at least one month in advance. Remind them that you are legally entitled to one month’s notice if they are taking a long time to inform you.

Your temporary contract will automatically become permanent if you have three or more temporary contracts with the same employer or if you have held a temporary contract for two or more years. You are entitled to the same dismissal procedure as for a permanent contract if your employer decides to fire you in this circumstance.

Permanent contract

Having an indefinite employment contract does not mean that you are untouchable. You could still get fired for different reasons. For example, you could get fired for bad performance or bad conduct and other reasons. The company however has to prove to the UWV that the reason for firing you was valid, if not they might even have to go to court.

30% ruling

In order to reapply for your 30 percent ruling after losing your employment in the Netherlands, you must do it within three months and still be in compliance with all rules.

You won’t experience any problems if you are successful. Your 30 percent ruling will remain in place and be valid. Losing your job could be more stressful as a result, but as long as you can complete this task by the deadline, everything will be back to normal.

Transition allowance

If you are dismissed or your temporary contract is not extended at your employer’s request, you are entitled to a transition payment. This option is available to you even if you decide to leave on your own accord because of your employer’s very negligent actions.

Starting from January 2021, you are eligible for a transition allowance if you are fired before the end of your employment contract. This is how the transition compensation is determined:

For every year worked, you will receive an allowance equal to 1/3 of your normal salary per full year worked. For example, if your monthly salary is 3000 euros and you have worked for a total of years, then you will receive an allowance of  2 * (3000*1/3) = 2000 euros.

For more information please visit the website of the Dutch Government (in Dutch).