Giving notice for employees on fixed-term contracts

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you employ workers on a fixed-term contract of at least 6 months? Then the notice period applies. You must inform them before the contract ends whether or not you intend to renew their contract 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 their 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 conclude a new fixed-term contract, you can indicate straight away that you do not intend to renew the contract. 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. If you do so, a notice period does not apply.

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 with 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

Do you fail to give notice on time? Then your employee is entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation (in Dutch) depends on:

  • the type of contract, and
  • how long you failed to give notice

In the following cases you do not need to pay compensation:

Difference between giving notice and giving notice of termination

Although in general both are referred to as notice period there is a difference between giving notice and giving notice of termination. Fixed-term contracts end automatically on the end date. However, you must inform your whether or not their employment will be renewed. You must do so on time, at least 1 month before the end of the contract. This is the notice period. In Dutch this is called the aanzegtermijn. In the case of permanent contracts or temporary contracts with an early termination option, employers must observe a notice period of termination before a contract is dissolved. In Dutch this is called the opzegtermijn.

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Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO