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Fortunately, reorganisations are not daily occurrences for employees and employers. In the case of ‘redundancy’, it is necessary to carefully determine who is redundant and then the same care should be exercised in communicating this information, because being made redundant will be very emotional for the employees in question.

It is very important to involve trade unions and/or the Works Council, in order to create support within the organisation and for possible proceedings before the subdistrict court or with the UWV. In addition, the requirements with regard to whom will be eligible for dismissal according to the ‘reflection principle’ (afspiegelingsbeginsel) are strict and clear.

Within an organisation, all positions are compared with each other and divided into categories of positions that are not interchangeable. Interchangeable positions are jobs that are comparable in terms of job content, required knowledge, skills and abilities, and level and salary. Within an organisation, there are sometimes 20 or more categories of positions that are ‘not interchangeable’.

Subsequently, the categories of interchangeable positions are divided into age groups: <25 years of age, 25-35 years of age, 35-45 years of age, 45-55 years of age, and >55 years of age. Within these groups, the ‘Last in, First Out’ principle applies, with the initial commencement date of employment. So if a gardener entered the employment on 17 February 1972, and has worked his way up to being a manager, his commencement date of employment will apply: 17 February 1972. In certain cases, the reflection principle need not be applied. There may, for instance, be an incomparable position. Also in the case where an employee is ‘indispensable’ for the organisation, the principle may be derogated from. The employer will then have to demonstrate that the employee has special knowledge or skills.

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