If you run a company in the Netherlands, major changes such as business restructuring, relocation, downsizing or bankruptcy, may have serious consequences for your staff. If you have to dismiss some of them, you could establish collective arrangements and provisions for both remaining and departing personnel in a social plan.
Social plan not compulsory
A social plan is not required by law. Usually the CAO (Collective Labour Agreement) contains provisions with regard to drawing up a social plan. In any event, you must be able to show your works council what measures you will take with regard to your staff while restructuring.
When to draw up a social plan
You need a social plan if you have to dismiss people. If this involves 20 people or more, it is called a collective dismissal. You must report a collective dismissal to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstitiuut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) and your employees' trade unions. You must also consult the trade unions regarding a social plan. You can, however, also draw up a social plan if you intend to dismiss only a few employees.
Usually, you negotiate a social plan with the trade unions. However, you could also agree upon a social plan with your works council. Finally, you could decide to draw it up by yourself.
Contents of a social plan
For employees that will be made redundant, the social plan regulates, among others, a possible severance payment (possibly in addition to the transition payment). For employees staying behind, the social plan regulates, among others, workplace changes, for example when relocating. The CAO can also determine which aspects should be included in your social plan.