Summary dismissal is the most far-reaching means that the employer has to put an end to the employment relationship. This remedy has considerable consequences for the employee. For example, employees may no longer claim a WW (unemployment) benefit. Under what circumstances is summary dismissal justified?

Basic premise

Summary dismissal is justified if the employee has committed or omitted an act that constitutes urgent cause. This includes serious misconduct at work, such as theft, fraud or refusal to work. The question of whether a summary dismissal is justified may depend on the particular and individual circumstances of the employee. This is reflected in the judgment of the Court of Appeal of The Hague of 30 January 2018, ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2018:120.

Case

In this case, the employee had signed an employment contract with the employer for an indefinite period and for 40 hours per week. The employee regularly arrived late for work and sometimes did not appear for days. The employer gave the employee an official warning for this, pointing out to the employee that if this was repeated he would face summary dismissal.

A few months later, the employee was assaulted in his home. The next day, the employee told the employer about the situation and said that he was going to go and report it to the police before coming to work. After which he did not go to work again for two days and the employer subsequently summarily dismissed the employee.

The findings

Was summary dismissal justified in this case? Was there an urgent cause for the summary dismissal? The Court of Appeal ruled that there was not, in this case. The employer was aware of the particular and individual circumstances of the employee which had led him not go to work and the employer had resorted to a measure that was too far-reaching. In this case, the particular and individual circumstances of the employee prevailed over the interests of the employer.

Conclusion

This judgment shows that whether there is an urgent cause for dismissal depends on several factors, including the particular and individual circumstances of the employee.

Advice and Contact

EAre you, as an employer, considering summarily dismissing an employee? Or, are you, as an employee, in danger of being or have you been summarily dismissed? Then contact Arbeidsrecht Amsterdam on 020-3584207 or fill out the contact formwithout obligation.

Have you been or are you in danger of being summarily dismissed?

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