The fixed-term employment agreement under Dutch law

Employment agreements can be agreed for a fixed period of time. In this case, the date on which the employment agreement ends is fixed.

The employment agreement for a fixed term ends by operation of law on the expiry date, without requirement of the employer to give notice for termination.

Per example: parties have agreed on a fixed-term contract for a year, starting on 1 January 2014. The employment agreement ends by operation of law on 1 January 2015.

Renewal of a fixed-term employment agreement in The Netherlands

The employment agreement for a fixed term can also be renewed. The renewal can be agreed explicitly by means of a notification letter, but it can also be agreed tacitly in case parties continue their work for example.

Under Dutch law, the fixed term employment agreement can only be renewed three times. Moreover, the total duration of the fixed term employment agreement (including extensions) may not be longer than 36 months. In case the employment agreement is extended for more than three times, or the duration covers more than 36 months, the employment agreement will be considered to be an employment agreement for an indefinite period of time. This applies also to a chain of fixed-term employment agreements that have succeeded each other with less than three months.

Early termination of a fixed-term employment agreement under Dutch law

In case of early termination of a fixed-term employment agreement, the usual statutory requirements for termination apply (prior permission by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV WERKbedrijf). The  employer can only terminate the employment agreement by giving notice after having obtained permission by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV WERKbedrijf) or by dissolution by the cantonal court. In this case, the notice period can be reduced with one month, yet the minimal notice period must be one month.

A fixed-term employment agreement can also be terminated before the expiration date in case parties agree mutually in writing.

See for further information regarding termination of employment agreements:

Employment termination proceedings in The Netherlands.

Further information regarding the duration of Dutch employment agreements

If you have any questions regarding the term of employment agreements under Dutch law, or concerning any other issue concerning employment law in The Netherlands, please contact:

Eva Jongepier, employment attorney in Amsterdam specialized in Netherlands employment law.

LAW - associated firm

Together with a number of international law firms outside
The Netherlands, Blenheim is member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide.

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