Severance pay for part-time work

What effect does part-time work have on the calculation of severance pay in the event of dismissal? By definition, a part-time employee has a lower salary than a colleague who does the same job full-time, but does this also apply to severance pay?

The standard rules for dismissal

If the standard rules for dismissal are applied, then in the event of dismissal, a lower wage factor needs to be taken into account. By this reasoning, the part-time employee would only be entitled to a much lower amount of months’ severance pay than their full-time colleague with equal seniority. 

Ruling of the Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court ruled that this is contrary to the principle of equality. As such, in order to calculate the number of months of severance pay for part-time employees, a fictitious full-time salary (e.g. €3,000) for this position is first taken into account. The result of this is 5 months’ severance pay, for example. Secondly, in order to calculate the actual amount of the severance pay, the number of months of severance pay calculated in this way (e.g. 5 months) is multiplied by the actual part-time monthly salary (€2,100 in this example). 

The same principles for part-time time credit

The same principles apply if an employee is dismissed who went from full-time employment to part-time time credit. Incidentally, the employer will have to prove that the dismissal was unrelated to the request for time credit, otherwise they will have to pay 6 months’ protection compensation on top of the severance pay. 

Full-time severance pay in the event of parental leave and long-term sickness 

If an employee has reduced their full-time work due to parental leave, the employer must take the fictitious full-time salary into account, both in calculating the number of months of severance pay, and in actually calculating the severance pay to be paid! Even if a full-time employee is absent with illness for the long-term, and can only resume their work on a part-time basis, and is dismissed during this part-time resumption, the fictitious full-time wage will have to be taken into account twice. The case law specifies that the employer must also apply all previous indexations in this regard. 


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