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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Temporary relaxation of dismissal law

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
This crisis measure has temporarily changed dismissal law to allow employers to keep ?indispensable? employees who according to regular dismissal law with regards to reorganizations would run the risk of dismissal, given the equal age-representation rule in Dutch dismissal law.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Scope of innovation
  • Spatial coverage: National
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
Dutch dismissal law provides rules on the selection of employees for dismissal in case of (large scale) reorganisation. These rules stipulate that before and after reorganisation, within similar functions, an equal age distribution of workers has to be achieved as before the reorganisation. This act has allowed employers to temporarily deviate from this rule, to be able to keep valuable, indispensable employees in times of crisis.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
Temporary policy adaptation to face the crisis
Type of innovation
  • new/changed output and/or outcome
New outputs
  • regulations of the labour market (Temporary adaptation of dismissal law)
Intended target group
Employers / employees in reorganising companies
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Judges the requests for dismissal )
  • central state (Regulation)
Intended output
  • regulation of the labour market (Temporary adaptation of dismissal law)
Intended and unintended outcomes
In total, 84 requests have been made from 2009-2011, of which only 27 have been approved. In 2010 26105 requests for dismissal for economic reasons were made, of which 61 were based on this act.
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
The act has hardly been used, which means its impact on resilience must be considered to be negligible or absent. According to the evaluation, organised employers consider the rules of the act to be complicated and would like more freedom with regards to making exemptions to the general dismissal law. The organised employees were against this law from the start and have not considered it necessary.
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