A labor dispute is a broad concept. It can be something as small as a disagreement with your employee, but also something much more serious like a transfer, job change or even dismissal. Often these kinds of conflicts are already resolved with a good conversation in which clear agreements are made. However, opinions may differ so much that more is needed. This can cause a lot of frustration and stress, which of course does not benefit the performance of your employee in the workplace.

For example, industrial disputes may include:

  • A feature change
  • A transfer of your employee
  • Dismissal
  • Disputes about overtime, vacation or illness
  • Disputes over salary, bonus or other rewards

What should you do in the event of a labor dispute with your employee?

First of all, it is important that you talk to your employee. It is often best to resolve the conflict with a conversation. Sometimes the employment relationship is so disrupted that continuation is no longer possible or desirable. It is then important that you document and save every conversation and every piece of evidence.


Dismissal is often the most serious industrial dispute. On an emotional level because of the stress and uncertainty that it entails. Not only for your employee, but also as an employer you are often at a loss.

Below will be discussed everything you can do as an employer to stand in your shoes as strongly as possible in the event of an escalating labor dispute. Subsequently, the reasons for dismissal are discussed.

Cancellation ban

If you want to terminate the employment contract with your employee, you should first check whether there is a prohibition on termination in the specific situation. Examples of cancellation prohibitions are, for example:

  • During the first two years of illness or disability
  • during pregnancy, childbirth, maternity leave and parental leave
  • during your employee’s military service in his country of origin
  • when your employee is a member of a trade union or involved in employee participation in your company
  • discrimination as a reason for dismissal is prohibited. For example because of religion, race, gender,
  • dismissal on the grounds of your employee’s age, orientation or disability is also prohibited.

Notice period

Furthermore, when you terminate the employment contract, it is important that you, as an employer, also adhere to the notice period. In most cases this notice period is one month. Pay attention! Always terminate the agreement in writing. This way you can always prove the date on which you terminated the employment contract and that the employee received it.

If you do not comply with the notice period, you often have to pay your employee compensation. It is therefore important for your own interest that you adhere to this.


It is important that you record all evidence about your employee’s performance in a file. You must be able to demonstrate objectively that there is a disrupted employment relationship. Think of e-mails, conversations or complaints from customers/colleagues.

Furthermore, the evidence you submit must show that there is no longer any possibility that your employee will continue his work at your company and that the labor dispute cannot be resolved further. Think of assigning a new position, new tasks or different working hours. As an employer, you must have actively tried to resolve the disrupted employment relationship. If you do not provide sufficient evidence or have not sufficiently tried to resolve the conflict, the subdistrict court may reject your request to dissolve the employment contract.

Temporary contract

If there is a temporary employment contract, you can also simply choose not to renew the contract. Termination of the employment contract is often a time-consuming and expensive way to fire someone. If you do not want to extend the temporary contract, it is important that you let your employee know. This is the notice period. If you do not do this, you may have to pay your employee compensation.

Dismissal for personal reasons

This can occur if you as an employer comment on the performance of your employee and in some cases could lead to actual dismissal.

As an employer, you can request dismissal from the subdistrict court (dissolution of the employment contract) for the following personal reasons:

– Frequent absenteeism

– Dysfunction

– culpable act or omission

– Disrupted employment relationship

– Serious conscientious objection

– Other circumstances

– A combination of reasons for dismissal (cumulation ground)

It is important that you can never just fire your employee. Dismissal for personal reasons is only possible through the subdistrict court. Again, it is very important that you collect sufficient evidence. It is also good to know that this is often a lengthy process. It is best to first try to resolve the conflict ct to solve.

You can also propose to your employee to draw up a settlement agreement together. In this letter you indicate that the employment contract will be terminated by mutual consent. You often offer your employee compensation for this. Otherwise he will not sign it soon.

It is important that you seek legal help when a labor dispute escalates and you want to be as strong as possible. It is also best to seek legal help when drawing up a settlement agreement. For questions, please contact us.

Fired immediately

Instant dismissal is a drastic measure for both employee and employer. There is no longer a notice period and the payment of wages will be stopped immediately. Your employee is also no longer entitled to unemployment benefits. As an employer, you cannot simply switch to instant dismissal. This requires a serious reason, such as:

  • theft
  • gross insult
  • fraud
  • assault
  • work refusal

As an employer, you are obliged to immediately report the reason for the immediate dismissal. Your employee can appeal the decision to the subdistrict court within 2 months of the dismissal. It is therefore again important to collect careful and sufficient evidence for the dismissal.

Dismissal for economic reasons

There are various reasons for a dismissal for economic reasons. Think of a bad financial situation, automation, company termination or an acquisition. The UWV will ask your employee for a response to your request to the UWV to grant a dismissal permit for the employee in question. Therefore make sure that you substantiate the request and have it checked by an employment law specialist.

If your request is approved by the UWV, your employee is often still entitled to a transition payment. The term for entitlement to the transition payment expires after 3 months.

Even if the dismissal permit is granted by the UWV, you must take into account the rules regarding notice period, transition payment, etc.

Dismissal for long-term incapacity for work

If your employee has been ill for more than 2 years, you as an employer can request the UWV to terminate the employment. It is also possible that your employee requests this. You are then obliged to cooperate and to pay a transition payment.

The lawyers of Arslan Lit Advocaten have extensive experience in handling employment law cases on behalf of the employer. For questions about what Arslan Lit Advocaten can do for you, please email us (info@arslanlitadvocaten.nl) or call us on 020 223 24 66. We are happy to assist you.