Check if there is an urgent reason for dismissal
Examples of an urgent reason are:
- deceit during a job application
- theft or fraud
- going to work while drunk
- abuse, grave insults, or threats
- endangering colleagues
- refusal to work
No legal notice period
With immediate dismissal you do not need to uphold the legal notice period. And during a trial period you do not need an urgent reason for dismissal.
Inform your employee instantly about the dismissal
Is there an urgent reason to dismiss your employee? Then you need to inform your employee instantly. Including the reason for dismissal. This can be done orally, but have a letter of dismissal ready afterwards. You can give the letter of dismissal during the conversation. Or you send the letter of dismissal after the conversation as a registered letter. Or via email with a conformation of receipt.
In any case it has to be clear that your employee knows that you dismiss them immediately and why you do so. Because only then the dismissal is valid.
Get a legal adviser
You can do this with legal assistance or via the Dutch Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten, NOvA, in Dutch). A legal adviser can help you draft a letter of dismissal. They can also advise you. For example: when there is theft involved, do you need to file a police report?
You have to prove that there is an urgent reason for dismissal. Therefore, gather as much objective evidence as possible. What that evidence is exactly, depends on the situation. Think of video recordings, emails, or complaints from colleagues.
What if investigation is needed?
Sometimes there is a very clear reason for immediate dismissal. Sometimes an investigation is needed first. That obviously takes time. Do you already know that immediate dismissal is inevitable? Then you can suspend your employee until you have enough evidence for the reason for immediate dismissal. You need to continue paying your employee during the suspension.
What to do if your employee challenges the immediate dismissal via a district judge?
Does your employee disagree with the immediate dismissal? Then they can challenge the immediate dismissal via a district judge. The district judge can determine that the immediate dismissal is invalid. Then there is a good chance that you have to pay the employee compensation. And maybe you are even required to rehire the employee. The compensation (in Dutch) is always at least 3 months’ worth of salary.
The district judge assesses the reason for immediate dismissal with the help of the following questions:
- Is there really an urgent reason for the dismissal?
- Have you fired your employee immediately after you noticed that there was an urgent reason for that? Or after you gathered enough evidence for the urgent reason?
- Is there evidence that your employee knew about the immediate dismissal and the reason for the immediate dismissal? For example, because you sent the letter of dismissal as a registered letter, with conformation of receipt.
- Have you put the reason for immediate dismissal clearly in the letter of dismissal? You cannot forget anything when doing this. If there are multiple reasons for dismissal, then you have to mention and explain all of them.
- Is the dismissal immediate? For example, your employee cannot come in for a final day to finish up work.
Compensation from your employee
You can claim compensation from your employee if the urgent reason for dismissal is clearly the fault of the employee.