Severance payment for dismissal with a zero-hour contract
April 7, 2020
A zero-hour contract is different from other contracts as it doesn't define how much you work. This is very useful for your employer as they can call you when they need you and only pay you when there is work. A zero-hour contract can be useful for you because of the flexible working hours, for example if you are studying or have young children. It is uncertain work, you often do not know how much you work and therefore don’t know how much you earn. That is why there are measures to protect on-call workers. One of these is the severance payment. Here you can read what your rights are with a zero-hour contract and what compensation you are entitled to in the event of dismissal.
What is severance pay?
If you are fired, you will of course lose your source of income in one fell swoop. To help you with this, the severance payment, officially called transition compensation was created. Your employer must pay you severance upon dismissal, even with a zero-hour contract..
Only if you resign yourself or if you are fired by mutual consentare you not entitled to severance pay. You must also be eighteen or older to be eligible.
What is a zero hours contract?
With a zero-hours contract you do have a written contract with your employer, but it does not define how many hours you work. You work when your employer calls you; in other words, you are an on-call worker. If you are called up, you are obliged to come and work. You may only refuse a call from your employer if you have a good reason, such as illness.
Fortunately, as an on-call worker you also have many rights. Especially since January 1, 2020 many measures have been taken to protect on-call workers. So always make sure that your employer takes your rights into account.
You cannot just be summoned. Your employer must let you know at least four days in advance that you have to work. If he doesn't, you are not obliged to come and work. If the call is withdrawn within four (or more) days, you must still be paid for the hours you would work. Do you have to work, but have you become ill?In that case you are entitled to at least 70 percent of your wages.
With a zero-hour contract you should earn at least the minimum wage. This can only deviate if other agreements have been made in the collective labor agreement (CLA). For every time you work, you are, in any case, entitled to a wage of three hours. This also applies if you have only worked one hour.
You are also entitled to holiday paywith a zero-hour contract. This is at least 8 percent of your salary for the past year. If you have not worked for a full year yet, you should receive 8 percent of the salary you have earned so far.
You also accrue vacation hours. Everyone is entitled to four times the number of hours they work per week for their holiday. Since you don't have a fixed number of hours with a zero-hours contract, this works a bit differently. Usually, every hour worked counts towards part of a holiday hour. Check your contract or collective labor agreement to see how it is arranged for you, or ask your employer.
Terminating the contract
Your employer cannot terminate your contract by not calling you anymore. So ask for help and advice if they do try this. We are happy to help you with this.
Your contract can only end if you reach a pre-agreed end date or if your employer fires you, with or without mutual consent. Do you have a contract that lasts longer than six months? Then your employer is obliged to let you know (in writing) one month in advance if he does not intend to renew it.
Unless otherwise agreed, you can also cancel your contractyourself. You must provide at least four days notice but this could vary from employer to employer.
More rights after six months
The longer you have been employed by one employer as an on-call worker, the more rights you have. So keep in mind that you may have rights that you did not have before.
After six months , a lot changes for you. For example, have you been called up, but are you unable to work through no fault of your own or is there not enough work? Or is there work, but you are not being called up? Then your employer must still continue to pay your wages. This is called the obligation to continue to pay wages. The CLA may state that he is not required to do this, so pay attention to this while signing your contract.
If you think you have worked more than you were paid in the past three months, you can raise this with your employer. We then look at how much you have worked on average over those three months. This is called the legal presumption of working hours. If your employer and you do not agree on this, you can ultimately go to court.
After a year , your employer must offer you a fixed number of hours per week, per month or per year. That should at least be the number of hours you worked on average that year. If he doesn't, you can still claim the amount you are rightfully owed. You can also agree to work a different number of hours. Do you not want a fixed number of hours at all? Then you can retain your zero-hours contract as well.
Do you have a contract of less than six months? Then you do not (yet) have the rights listed above. In that case you are not allowed to have a probationary period.
Rules for seasonal workers
For seasonal work, work that you can do for a maximum of nine months per year, different rules may apply. You can be called up without a minimum call term, which means that the four day notification period does not apply. This may also be the case for the cancellation period of your contract. Please note that this is also mentioned in the CLA.
Severance payment for a zero-hour contract
When your zero-hour contract ends, you are entitled to severance pay. This is seen as dismissal.
Do you cancel your contract yourself, or are you dismissed by mutual consent? Then you are with a number of exceptions not entitled to severance pay.
Calculate your compensation
The calculation of your severance is slightly different for zero-hour contracts. Usually you calculate this based on your monthly salary, but with a zero-hours contract you will, of course, be paid per hour and have no fixed hours. That is why you look at how much you have worked on average per month.
Multiply the number of hours you worked on average by your hourly wage. You take a third of the amount that comes out of this and divide that by twelve. When you multiply that by the number of months you have worked, you get the severance payment to which you are entitled.
For example, you have been employed for six months and have worked an average of 80 hours per month with an hourly wage of 10 euros.
Then you calculate 80 times 10: 80 x 10 = 800.
You take a third of that amount: 800/3 = 266,67
This amount is divided by the twelve months of the year: 266,67/12 = 22,22
You multiply this amount with the number of months worked, in this case 6, so: 22,22 x 6 = 133,33
133,33 euro is jouw ontslagvergoeding.
Got fired with a zero-hour contract?
If your zero-hours contract has not been renewed you are likely entitled to severance pay. Has your contract been terminated in a different way, but do you think you are entitled to severance pay? In both cases, we can help you to find out what you are entitled to and claim your severance payment.
We often use the term severance pay instead of the official term transition payment. This is because people will understand it more easily that way. Want to know more?
Alweer anderhalf jaar hebben we te maken met de WAS en de daarbij behorende transitievergoeding. Met de invoering in 2020 heeft deze ontslagvergoeding zijn intrede gemaakt. Toch blijkt keer op keer dat mensen deze regels erg lastig vinden en niet erg snappen. Veel werknemers waarvan de baan stopt, vergeten deze vergoeding bij hun vorige werkgever […]
De economie gaat weer open, maar veel bedrijven hebben nog openstaande schulden. Wat betekent dit straks voor de werknemers?
Flexwerkers en gastarbeiders worden vaak slecht behandeld door hun werkgevers van het uitzendbureau. Het is hoog tijd dat dat stopt!
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