At the end of March, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employability filed a legislative proposal with the Dutch Lower House to amend the Act on the Reporting of Collective Dismissals (the WMCO).

Under the WMCO, an employer who intends to make collective dismissals (20 or more employees within a period of three months), has to report the collective dismissals to the Dutch Public Employment Service (UWV-Werkbedrijf), giving the grounds for the decision. Furthermore, the relevant trade unions will have to be informed by sending them a copy of the written request to the UWV-Werkbedrijf.

However, at the moment the WMCO only applies if an employment agreement is terminated by giving notice (after prior approval of the UWV-Werkbedrijf) or by court's decision, and not if the employment agreement is terminated by mutual consent. This enables employers to avoid the applicability of the WMCO by entering into separate termination agreements with the employees who are to be made redundant.

In order to stop employers circumventing the often time-consuming procedure in the WMCO by agreeing separate termination agreements, the legislative proposal of the Minister of Social Affairs and Employability would amend the WMCO in such a way that employers will still have to give notification to the UWV-Werkbedrijf and the relevant trade unions when making 20 or more employees redundant, even when employees agree to a settlement offered to them.