Three important tips on how to strengthen your position in the event of reorganisation and dismissal
There is reason for optimism about economic recovery later this year. According to the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the turnaround is already in sight. Though further change is always a possibility. And even in normal times, entrepreneurs can close their business and some businesses do fail. Reorganisations are a regular occurrence. The recent series of reorganizations announced by Signify is an example of this. This blog provides information on what to do when faced with such a situation.
Reorganisation is usually prompted by the need to reduce costs. This can result in a business being restructured and departments being split or merged. For some, this offers new opportunities, while others see their position falling away and can experience this as a threat.
Notification of dismissal – it’s not that simple
Losing your job is tough, but your employer must also conform to rules during the process . For example, by checking whether another position is available within the company. And if more than twenty people are to be made redundant at once, a company must not only demonstrate the necessity thereof, but also seek the advice of the works council. It is then also mandatory to inform the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) and the trade union about these plans.
An employer does not have a free hand in selecting who is fired. There are rules for the order of dismissal. For a long time, the lifo principle was applied: last in, first out. This was based on the idea that loyal service should be rewarded. It also took into account that people with a long service record are usually older and therefore have a less advantageous position in the labour market. In practice, however, lifo meant that young people were the first to be let go. This led to an unbalanced composition of the workforce. Which is why the principle of age distribution now applies. Dismissals are now divided proportionally over age groups (25-35 years, 35-45 years, 45-50 years, etc.). Lifo is then usually applied within these age groups.
Trade union members must approve the social plan
Usually, a social plan is drawn up in the event of a reorganisation. In it, the employer agrees with the trade union to mitigate the consequences of reorganisation, also for those who stay. For those leaving, the plan contains provisions on severance pay and work transition and outplacement schemes. Members of the union must approve this plan. Companies choose this route to avoid having to make separate agreements with each employee.
What to do when faced with dismissal
- Do not just sign any agreement that is presented to you.
- Get help from a lawyer who can inform you, for example, whether a document has been drawn up correctly. A lawyer can protect you from the risks of forfeiting your rights to unemployment benefits or from receiving too little compensation. A legal expert will also know about the relevant notice periods, the possibility of exemption from work, the potential for transfer to a competitor and payment for holidays not taken.
- Keep all correspondence. As soon as you receive signals that a reorganisation is about to take place at your company save all the e-mails and letters you receive about this. This will place you in a stronger position, should you wish to object.
While the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) may be sure that better times are ahead, there is no telling when the recovery will start. And it’s better to be safe than sorry. As a member of a trade union, you are assured of free guidance on these issues.
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