The resolutive condition in the employment contract

Published by: Bernard Bongaards posted on 29 March 2019 reading time

The resolutive condition in the employment contract remains a risky business. This is an agreement stating that the employment contract will end (by operation of law) when a certain circumstance occurs. A study is not successfully completed, a certificate of good conduct is not issued (any more), etc.

A recent ruling by a subdistrict court in Alkmaar concerned the following situation. In 2013, a security company wanted to extend another contract after three fixed-term contracts, but this time for an indefinite period. Therefore, the company decided to enter into a contract extension which stated that the employment contract was entered into "for the duration of services between the security company and a specific client". In October 2018, the security company sent the employee a letter stating that the services provided to the client in question had ended and that the employment contract had therefore also ended. A dismissal based on the resolutive condition.

The employee did not resign himself to this and started legal proceedings. The Subdistrict Court ruled that this resolutive condition was contrary to the closed system of dismissals in the Netherlands. The condition that the employment contract ends when the client no longer wants to use the services of the security company is not 'objectively determinable', according to the Subdistrict Court.

This is understandable, because it is not inconceivable that the security company can influence a client's decision to terminate. In this way, the employer can in fact ensure that the resolutive condition arises. At the same time there are also rulings of the Supreme Court in which in comparable situations it was allowed to invoke a resolutive condition. For example, a judgment from 2002 in which the termination of the employment contract with a member of the board of directors of a Central Bank was upheld because the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles (a third party in that case) had decided to do so.

If you also make use of resolutive conditions in your employment contract, or if you have a resolutive condition in your own employment contract, do not hesitate to contact us to get a picture.