New reduction of the termination periods in case of dismissal

The law of March 26, 2018 on, among other things, the strengthening of economic growth, has shortened the notice periods considerably in case of dismissal occurring during the first months of employment. This is the second substantial change since the introduction of the Uniform Statute in 2014 and is of course again applicable to both blue and white-collar workers.

The new law is applicable since May 1, 2018 for all contracts of indefinite duration and ensures a more even gradation of the length of the due notice periods during the first 6 months employment.

The new notice periods in case of dismissal of employees, are as follows:

  • seniority up to 3 months: 1 week termination period
  • seniority comprised between 3 and 4 months: 3 weeks
  • seniority comprised between 4 and 5 months: 4 weeks
  • seniority comprised between 5 and 6 months: 5 weeks

In view of the very modest notice periods during the first three months, this period can be equated to a trial period.

As a result, the importance of relying on fixed-term employment contracts to circumvent the prohibition of the trial period in permanent employment contracts, is significantly reduced. A remaining advantage of using that type of contract for this purpose, is however that the fixed-term employment contract automatically ends on the agreed date. The employer is thus exempted from the obligation to have to justify his dismissal decision upon the request of the employee and he is therefore protected against the risk of a claim for compensation for unlawful dismissal on the basis of Collective Labor Agreement no. 109.
For more information on this topic, please feel free to contact Carl VANDER ESPT esq. (

Best regards,

The Cairn Legal team.