An employee was summary dismissed via WhatsApp, is it legal? What is the consequences?
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The employee concerned was summary dismissed via WhatsApp after the employer and employee had conflict on WhatsApp about timetable issues. The employee did not receive a termination letter in writing. The employee was unsure why she was dismissed.
- The judge found that in this case there is not an urgent reason for dismissal present.
- The judge found that in terms of article 7:672 point 9 and 10 (Dutch Civil Code) that the party that broke the employee contract prematurely must pay damages to the other party equal to the salary that the employee should have received if the contract was not terminated. The employee was indefinitely in service with a 0 hour contract.
- The judge took in account that termination period of a month is applicable.
- That the employment contract was not legally terminated because the employee did not agree in writing with the termination as required by article 7:671.1 (Dutch Civil Code), and that the employee is entitled to compensation.
- The employer must pay the employee 1000 euro compensation in terms of article 7:681,
- The claim of 563 euro compensation for the notice period is approved in terms of article 7:672 point 1
- Transition allowance of 389,60 euro in terms of Article 673 point 1,
- The employer is responsible for the legal fees of the case.
Good to know
- It is going to be very difficult to convince a Judge that a case is urgent with only WhatsApp evidence,
- All official correspondence that are part of the case file must be in writing,
- The Employer can only terminate an employment contract with the written consent of the employee,
- The employee can within 14 day’s withdraw the written consent as was mentioned in point 1 in writing without reasons.
- The party that broke the employee contract prematurely must pay damages to the other party equal to the salary that the employee should have received if the contract was not terminated, normally the damaged may not be less that three months salary,
- Transition allowance is due to the employee if the employment relation was at least 24 months.
Link to case
Contact me! Andre Beukes LLM, Dutch Labour Law for managers
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Tags: Dutch Labour Law, dismissal, urgent reasons for dismissal