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My employer is going bankrupt, what now?

08 September 2023

The number of bankruptcies has increased in recent months, and it is expected that it will remain unsettled in the coming period. This also increases the chance that your employer will go bankrupt. When that happens, you are suddenly without work and income. What exactly can you count on when it happens? We explain this clearly.

What are my rights?


More bankruptcies

Shortly after the corona crisis, the number of bankruptcies remained low compared to previous years: in August 2019, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) registered 'only' 109 cases – a low record. But since then this number has been creeping up: since October 2022, there have been structurally more than 200 bankruptcies per month, and in June 2023 the number even rose to over 300. Prominent bankruptcies include those of e-bike company VanMoof, clothing brand Score, budget store Big Bazar, electronics store BCC and travel organization Vacansoleil.


When your employer is in financial difficulties and can no longer pay its costs – including your wages – we speak of inability to pay. Sometimes there is a permanent inability to pay. In such a case, your employer can file for bankruptcy. If your employer has two or more creditors, they can also file for bankruptcy with the court. You can also do this together with a colleague if you do not receive your wages and the turnover of the company is poor.


If the court declares your employer bankrupt, it appoints a trustee who makes decisions about the company and tries to pay creditors. The trustee becomes, as it were, your new employer: he can terminate your contract or indicate that your employment will continue for the time being.

Contract is canceled

If the curator terminates your contract, he must adhere to the notice period: this is a maximum of six weeks, unless otherwise stated in your collective labor agreement or employment contract. You are entitled to your salary until the end of your contract. After that, you can apply for bankruptcy benefit from the UWV. Please note: you must do this within 26 weeks after you have ceased to receive wages. The bankruptcy benefit amounts to a maximum of 150 percent of the maximum daily wage.

For example, the bankruptcy payment may include:

  • arrears of wages over a maximum of 13 weeks until the start of your notice period
  • your salary during the notice period
  • your holiday pay, outstanding holidays and pension premium over the last 12 months before your dismissal

You can keep working

It is also possible that the bankruptcy trustee will continue your employment. Then you can continue to work and you retain your right to wages. You can of course resign yourself and discuss other options for termination of employment with the curator.

Want to know more?

Do you have questions about bankruptcies? Or are you afraid that your employer will go bankrupt, and would you like insight into your situation and advice about what you can do best? Please contact us as soon as possible. Our Service Center is available every working day from 8.30 am to 17.00 pm via and 0345 851 963.

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