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Justification of Dismissal and "Obviously Unreasonable Dismissal"

Practical Lessons from the Case Law

12 June 2018 | NautaDutilh, Chaussée de La Hulpe 120, 1000 Brussels | Internal

On Tuesday, 12 June 2018, we will hold a seminar to discuss recent case law on the dismissal justification requirement introduced by CBA No 109 and the concept of "obviously unreasonable dismissal".

Indeed, CBA No 109 has now been in force for four years and there is already substantial case law interpreting the employer's obligation to justify the dismissal of an employee. In our seminar, we will discuss the lessons that can be drawn from the case law in order to avoid the legal pitfalls associated with dismissal.

On this occasion, we will discuss and answer the following questions:

  • How precise and detailed must the written justification for a dismissal be?
  • When should a dismissal be justified? Is it better to justify the dismissal immediately or to wait for the employee to request a justification?
  • How should the C4 form be completed if the employee does not receive a justification for his or her dismissal? Can the C4 form itself be considered a sufficient explanation?
  • If the employee is represented by a trade union, should the justification for the dismissal be sent to the union or to the employee directly?
  • What are the consequences if the justification does not state all reasons for the dismissal? Can other reasons be added at a later stage in the event of litigation?
  • Is the dismissal of an employee on sick leave "obviously unreasonable"?
  • Which documents are needed to prove that a dismissal is reasonable?
  • How can an employee's personal file be used to justify his or her dismissal? How will the GDPR affect the possibility to use an employee's personal file in the framework of dismissal?
  • What is the scope of CBA No 109? Is it necessary to follow the justification procedure provided for by CBA No 109 if a specific dismissal/justification procedure is provided for at sector level or within the company?
  • What is the burden of proof in the event of litigation with regard to dismissal?
  • What is the tax and social security treatment of the damages awarded for failure to justify a dismissal or for an "obviously unreasonable dismissal"?

Presentations will be given in Dutch or French, with hand-outs in both languages.


12.00 - 12.15 Welcome
12.15 - 14.00 Lunch, presentations and Q&A
14.00 End of seminar

If you are interested to attend this event, please send an e-mail to

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