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Giving notice for employees on fixed-term contracts

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONederlandse versie

Do you employ workers on a fixed-term contract of at least 6 months? you must inform them before the contract ends whether or not you intend to renew their contract. Your employees are entitled to know if their contract is to be renewed or not and, if so, under what terms.

When and how do you give notice?

You must inform your employee in writing at least 1 month before his or her contract ends whether the contract will be renewed or not. This is giving notice (in Dutch). You also have to explain the terms of the renewal. If you fail to specify the terms of the new contract, the terms of the previous contract continue to apply.

If you enter a new fixed-term contract, you can indicate straight away whether you intend to renew the contract again or not. If you do not intend to renew the contract again, you do not have to explicitly state how long in advance notice needs to be given.

Which fixed-term contracts require notice to be given?

Temporary employees only require notice when their fixed-term contract is for 6 months and over.

When do these rules for giving notice not apply?

The rules regarding giving notice for fixed-term contracts do not apply to:

  • permanent employment contracts
  • fixed-term contracts of less than 6 months
  • temporary agency worker contracts containing a temporary employment clause
  • fixed-term contracts without a set end date (for example, a contract to complete a certain project)

Failure to give notice

If you fail to give notice on time, your employee is entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation (in Dutch) depends on both the type of contract and by how long you failed to give notice. In the following cases you do not need to pay compensation:

Difference between notice rules for permanent and fixed-term contracts

Fixed-term contracts end automatically on the end date. However, you have to inform your employee on time (at least 1 month before the end of the contract) whether or not their employment will be renewed (aanzegtermijn). In the case of permanent contracts, employers must observe a notice period before a contract is dissolved (opzegtermijn).

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