Trustee requests granting of both transition payment and fair remuneration. Is cumulation possible, having regard to the maximum remuneration under the Standards for Remuneration Act?
Opinion of Den Bosch Appeal Court: granting a transition payment in addition to fair remuneration is compatible with the aim and the purpose of the Standards for Remuneration Act.
A dispute arose between the trustee and the Foundation’s Supervisory Committee. The trustee had been working at the Foundation since 2002. At a meeting with the Supervisory Committee on 23 January 2017 the trustee gave notice of the problems she was experiencing in her working relationship with the Supervisory Committee chairman. At a follow-up meeting the Supervisory Committee declared its unanimous support of the chairman. On 20 February 2017 the trustee was suspended. The trustee was sent home in the presence of colleagues. Her email account was immediately closed and she was disconnected from the digital network with immediate effect. The reason for the trustee no longer performing duties was not communicated internally, which created the impression that the trustee had acted improperly. The Foundation then submitted an application to terminate her employment contract.
The subdistrict court rejected the termination application. In the period following the rejection most members of the Supervisory Committee stepped down and the suspension of the trustee was lifted from 1 January 2018. The trustee then herself submitted a termination application to the subdistrict court. The application to terminate the employment contract between the parties as soon as possible by reason of a serious imputable act on the part of the Foundation was granted. The subdistrict court terminated the employment contract with effect from 1 May 2018 and ordered the Foundation to pay the trustee fair remuneration of EUR 140,000 gross, but did not grant her any transition payment. In the subdistrict court’s opinion, granting a transition payment in addition to fair remuneration is not compatible with the aim and the purpose of the Standards for Remuneration Act.
Appeal Court Judgment
Both parties lodged an appeal against this decision. The Appeal Court took the view on appeal that granting a transition payment in addition to fair remuneration is compatible with the aim and the purpose of the Standards for Remuneration Act. The aim and the purpose of the Standards for Remuneration Act are indeed important in calculating the level of fair remuneration, since the fair remuneration is funded by public money. The Appeal Court grants the trustee fair remuneration of EUR 170,000 gross and in addition grants the transition payment of EUR 82,104.12 gross.
→ It may therefore be concluded from this that the court is not bound by the Standards for Remuneration Act maximum of EUR 75,000 gross when granting a transition payment and/or fair remuneration. In calculating the level of fair remuneration the court must however take account of the fact that the fair remuneration is funded out of public funds.