Looming dismissal: what now?

Object explicitly. Make it clear to the employer, verbally and in writing (preferably by registered letter), right away that you do not agree with the dismissal and the stated reasons. The objection is also important for possible unemployment benefits.

Keep your own file. Keep track of all developments (in emails and letters) in chronological order. It’s not impossible for the employer to also keep a file, in order to eventually present motivations for the dismissal. With your own file you can counter any incorrectness or false suggestions with records.

Receive independent judicial advice. Always ask for advice about the possibilities and the necessary procedures as soon as possible. Go to an independent judicial advisor, and not one who works for the employer. VAWO members are entitled to free advice from specialised jurists.

Ask for a written confirmation of the dismissal. You need this in order to resist the dismissal.

Don’t take rushed decisions. Employers often put pressure on employees to cooperate in a dismissal or exit scheme. Don’t let yourself be pressured. Explicitly ask your employer for a written explanation. It’s wise to present this explanation to an independent jurist, and agree to or refuse the scheme after you have received advice. A good employer will give the employee this opportunity.

Do not stop working. As soon as you stop working, the employer can interpret this as you agreeing to the dismissal. While it can be difficult to keep doing your work well and with motivation, it’s important to make sure that the employer doesn’t find cause to quality your performance as below standard. Be on your guard and in case of doubt, ask the VAWO for advice.

Do not agree to a deactivation.

Do not return company assets. Make sure the employer doesn’t get ahead of the dismissal by getting back items, such as phone, keys or computer. This way you can make sure that working will not be made impossible for you.

Try to communicate with the employer politely and business-like. While it’s understandable that you might feel emotional, it’s wise not to get wrapped up in intense confrontations with the employers. If necessary, ask the employer to write down their point of view, and tell him you will respond to it in writing. Don’t answer suggestive questions or let your employer know you will get back to them on that later in the day.