De Unie, in your interest

Your work and income

Your boss no longer has work for you. What now?

December 07 2023

De Unie in action

The legal specialists of De Unie assist you during various differences of opinion and conflicts in the workplace. To make it clearer what exactly you can do with us, we highlight a true situation every month. We describe the member's question, tell us what De Unie has done to resolve the situation and share the outcome. In this edition: your employer indicates that there is no more work for you, what happens then?

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The problem

Our member has a permanent contract, but has been told by his employer for some time that there is no work for him. There is no talk of any form of dismissal yet, but that seems to be a matter of time. That is why our member is already looking around for other work. And he thinks so. He then knocks De Unie to have his new employment contract checked.

The principle

If you have a permanent employment contract, your employer cannot simply dismiss you - even if there is no work for you at all. In the event of dismissal, employers can apply for this at the UWV or via the subdistrict court, but must then substantiate why: they can choose from various so-called 'grounds for dismissal'. When it comes to dismissal for economic reasons, this must always be done via the UWV - this was not the case with our member. The only options are therefore to resign yourself or to resign by mutual consent. In this case, the employer and employee agree to say goodbye to each other. They record any agreements they make about dismissal in a settlement agreement (VSO).

As long as you are still employed, you cannot simply start a new job. In principle, you must resign yourself and take the notice period into account.

This has De Unie done

We had previously spoken to the member about his situation and explained the above principle. When he knocked on our door with a new employment contract, we asked how his old job had turned out. The member assumed that he could cancel now that he had found a new job. On our advice, he started talking to his employer about a settlement agreement: he would not have left at all if there had been enough work for him.


The employer also believes that our member is entitled to dismissal by mutual consent, and therefore to a VSO. They make good agreements and part ways in a pleasant manner - without paying attention to the notice period - after which our member can start his new job. He was so happy with that that he sent the lawyer who helped him a very nice message afterwards:

Dear Union lawyer,     

May I thank you very much for guiding you towards a new job? You guided me with sincere communication, punctuality, good knowledge and a friendly approach. This is HIGHLY appreciated.


Need help from our legal specialists?

Not every situation is the same. Therefore, please contact us directly: our legal specialists will be happy to assist you. For example, if you do not receive employment conditions, while you are entitled to them. Our Service Center can be reached every working day from 8.30 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. via and 0345 851 963.

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