A Dutch court of appeal has recently ruled that a subdistrict court wrongly nullified an employer’s instant dismissal of an employee. The employee was dismissed on 7 October 2015 for the theft of three books.  

The subdistrict court nullified the dismissal as the theft could not be proved. Despite the employer not allowing the employee to work after this ruling, the employee's wages still had to be paid.  

Under the Work and Security Act ('Wet Werk en Zekerheid'), an employee retains the right to salary up until a new end date of his employment agreement; the court of appeal set the new end date to be 31 May 2017. However, on these facts, this would have resulted in unfairness by allowing the employee, who gave his employer urgent cause for dismissal, to remain entitled to salary.  

On appeal, CMS successfully argued (on behalf of the employer) that the dismissal was the result of the employee’s own misconduct and that the employee was not entitled to any salary from the date of the instant dismissal to the new end date of the employment agreement. Therefore, the court of appeal corrected this unfair situation by ruling that the employee had to repay all wages received during this period.  

Read the full judgement here (Gerechtshof Arnhem-Leeuwarden, 30-05-2017).