Working in the Netherlands

Working in the Netherlands

Losing your job as an expat in the Netherlands

lfjobLosing your residence right

With an employment-based residence permit (such as a highly skilled migrant permit or a permit for paid employment), premature employment termination does not only mean losing your source of income.

It can also result in losing the right to stay in the Netherlands. In order to give you a chance to prolong your stay, Dutch law provides for a three-month search period which allows you to search for a new job.

Three-month search period

The main requirement for highly skilled migrants to qualify for a search period is that your employer has taken initiative for the termination and you did not lose your job “culpably”.

That means that if you’re at fault for getting fired, you don’t get the three-month search period.

Culpability or bearing blame

The termination will be considered culpable if it concerns a summary dismissal (getting fired for serious misconduct, for example) or a notice of dismissal that you did not protest.

Termination by mutual consent, in the form of a settlement agreement is not considered a culpable termination provided that the settlement agreement explicitly states that the employee was not at fault and that it was the employer’s initiative to terminate the employment contract.

The element of culpability is assessed along the same lines as how your eligibility for unemployment benefits (WW uitkering) is determined.

If you have a regular residence permit for employment, you’re in a slightly better position than highly skilled migrants because you will be granted a period of three months regardless of the termination grounds.

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Andre Beukes LLM

Andre Beukes LLM

André Beukes is an EU Management Consultant to international companies doing business in Europe. He provides clients with practical business support that makes a real difference doing business in the EU. “Put simply, I am here to help you meet your challenges. I believe in the importance of doing things correctly, meaning risks are reduced and problems are avoided.”

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