Obligation to investigate the employer side


When the employer did not know what he signed, which plays a role in the fact that he has only a moderate command of the language and he did not understand the consequences thereof: https://arbeidsrechtadvocaat.org. Nor can it be inferred from the passive behavior of an employee that the employment contract has been terminated by mutual consent. Think of a situation in which an employee signs a pre-prepared letter addressed to her during a conversation with the employer “for receipt”.


The duty of investigation on the part of the employer

That an employer should not be too quick to trust that an employee has agreed to the termination of the employment contract; statements or conduct of the employee must show clearly and unambiguously that he agrees to the termination.


Depending on the circumstances of the case, this may even result in the employer being under an obligation to investigate, so that he must ascertain whether the employee’s will is / was actually aimed at terminating the employment contract. The Supreme Court first made an explicit statement about this in January 1983.


In that case, an employer had drawn up a statement stating that the employee concerned of Moroccan descent who had a poor command of the Dutch language “is terminating his employment due to a family visit in Morocco that, according to him, took three months”. This statement also included a final statement. The employee concerned later stated that he did not know that the employment contract was terminated; he only thought he had signed a final bill.


The Supreme Court ruled that an employer must check with reasonable care whether the employee has understood what he agrees to. More than eighteen months later, the Supreme Court made it clear in September that such an obligation to investigate also applies in the event of termination on the part of the employee. In this case, the employment contract contained a clause stipulating that an absence of longer than the accrued vacation entitlements required dismissal at the request of the employee.


When the employee concerned wanted to go to Morocco for longer than the scope of his vacation entitlements allowed, he received a letter from his employer that was not really very clear, but confirming his cancellation. The Supreme Court ruled that the employer should not have inferred from the departure of the employee concerned that the employee had canceled: https://advocaatarbeidsrecht.org/. He should have investigated whether this was also the employee’s wish.


Two years later in September 1986, the Supreme Court was able to state that the obligation to investigate does not only apply to a foreign employee who does not speak the Dutch language well. In this case, it was a truck driver who arrived at his employer’s company after a tiring working week as an international driver and who believed that he would be home

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