Supreme Court: severance payment can reflect employee’s personal circumstances

July 5, 2017

In its ruling of 30 June 2017, the Supreme Court partially undid the reduction of the severance payment introduced in 2015. With this decision, there is now more room for individualised court decisions which take the personal circumstances of the employee into consideration.

Employees who are wrongfully dismissed by their employer can claim damages, such as lost income, through court proceedings. The court will look closely at employees’ chances of finding new employment and their years of service, and these factors will likely weigh heavily in court decisions.


Last Friday’s ruling could have an impact on hundreds of persons per year. “It could end up costing employers a lot, but individual justice has returned in Dutch dismissal law”, says Stefan Sagel, Professor of Employment Law at Leiden University and lawyer at De Brauw. He litigated this pro bono case for a wrongfully terminated hairdresser before the Supreme Court.

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