How dismissal will affect you depends on the reasons for your dismissal, your employment contract and the type of university where you work.

Dismissal from temporary employment

Different rules apply to temporary employment contracts, depending on whether you are employed at a public university or at a special university. If you have a temporary contract at a public university, the university may only terminate your contract with just cause. Just cause includes reasons such as long-term occupational disability, cessation of operations or unsuitability for a post. You may also terminate your contract by resigning yourself, this process is described in Article 8.3 of the CAO. Different rules apply to special universities, such as the obligation to apply for an official dismissal permit. These and other conditions are described in Article 8.11 of the CAO.

Notice periods for temporary employment

There is no obligation to renew a temporary employment contract. The following notice periods apply when terminating a temporary contract:

  • Three months, if you have been working for at least twelve months in a row;
  • Two months, if you have been working for between six and twelve months;
  • One month, if you have been working for less than six months or have been dismissed after having reached the age you are entitled to an old-age pension (AOW).

Dismissal from permanent employment

Your employer also needs just cause to terminate a permanent employment contract. If your employer intends to terminate your employment due to your unsuitability for the post, they must first investigate whether there are other duties available for which you are better suited. If you fail to perform your duties due to your own neglect, this is not necessary. Note: different dismissal rules apply in the event of a reorganisation! See the Reorganisation page for more details.

Employment contracts at special universities are subject to Dutch labour law. Under this law, your permanent contract can be terminated due to the redundancy of your job on economic grounds, e.g. in the event of a reorganisation. Your university may also dismiss you following at least two years of long-term illness. To do so, however, the university must apply for a permit from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) and observe a notice period. If there are other reasons for terminating your employment (such as unsatisfactory performance, frequent sick leave or a damaged working relationship), the university may apply to the subdistrict court for permission to dissolve your employment contract.

Notice periods for permanent employment

The following notice periods apply to termination of permanent employment:

  • Three months, if you have been working for at least twelve months in a row;
  • Two months in all other cases;
  • One month if you were employed after already having reached the age you were entitled to an old-age pension.

Transitional compensation

Is your employment being terminated on or after 1 January 2018? In that case you are entitled to transitional compensation. However, this is not the case if:

  • Your permanent contract is being terminated or your temporary contract is not being extended on economic grounds;
  • You are entitled to a subsequent BWNU benefit, i.e. based on the Netherlands Universities Enhanced Unemployment Scheme (BWNU: Bovenwettelijke Werkloosheidsregeling Nederlandse Universiteiten), and have applied for this;
  • You have reached the age you are entitled to an old-age pension.


Will you be unemployed soon? The Unemployment page provides information on which benefits you are entitled to and how you can apply for them.