Offboarding: Voluntary & Involuntary Separation


An employment contract can end in several ways: by the end of the agreed duration of the contract (fixed-term contract), the death of the Employee, termination by the Employer (dismissal), termination by Employee (at its own request), termination by mutual consent or termination contract by a court (law). In all cases, laws and regulations are applicable and support by HR professionals is advised.

End Employment Agreement on Retirement

The Employment Agreement will end on the first day of the month in which the Employee reaches retirement age.

Notice period for the Employer

In general, the statutory notice periods are applicable for termination of both permanent employment contracts and fixed term employment contracts. However, it is possible a notice period other than the statutory notice period is applicable, because of other agreements in the individual employment agreement.

The statutory notice period to be observed by the Employer is:

  • One (1) month for the employment agreement continuing for less than five (5) years.
  • Two (2) months for employment agreements duration of five (5) and ten (10) years.
  • Three (3) months for employment agreements continuing for a period between ten (10) and fifteen (15) years.
  • Four (4) months if the employment agreements continue beyond fifteen (15) years.

For the Employer read here how to give notice to the employee on a fixed term employment contract.

Notice period for the Employee

The statutory notice period for the employee is one (1) month.

Reference letter

After the end of the employment contract, the Employer is obliged to provide the employee with a Reference Letter [getuigschrift] upon request of the Employee. This is stated in Article 656 of the Dutch Civil Code book 7:

  1. At the end of the employment contract, the Employer is obliged to provide the employee with a Reference Letter upon request.
  2. The letter states: a the nature of the work performed and the working hours per day or per week. the start date and the end date of the employment contract;c. a statement of how the Employee has complied with his obligations;

    d. a statement of how the employment contract was terminated;

    e. if the Employer has cancelled the employment contract, the reason for this.

  3.  The information referred to in paragraph 2, parts c, d and e, will only be stated in the Reference Letter on the request of the Employee.
  4.  If the Employee has terminated the employment contract and he owes the Employer compensation in that regard, the Employer is entitled to state this in the letter.
  5. The Employer who refuses to issue the requested Reference Letter fails to comply with a request as referred to in paragraph 3, includes incorrect statements due to intent or fault or provides the Reference Letter with a characteristic or in a specific way to do so or to make any statement regarding the Employee that is not contained in the wording of the Reference Letter, is liable towards the Employee as well as towards third parties for the damage caused thereby.
  6. This article cannot be deviated from to the disadvantage of the Employee.