By Lucas Hoogervorst, Maureem in Poel

The Supreme Court ruled last Friday that, in short, a partial amendment of an existing employment contract in circumstances that have to be borne by the employer, may result in the payment of a partial transition payment. This concerns the special case that, due to circumstances, is forced to proceed to a substantial and structural reduction of the working time of the employee.

A remarkable judgment, since the law does not provide for a partial termination by the employer, nor a claim for a partial transition payment in the event of a reduction of working hours. Nonetheless, the possibility of a partial transition payment in the aforementioned special case must be accepted, according to the Supreme Court. This is irrespective of whether the reduction of the working hours has taken place through (i) a partial termination, (ii) a total dismissal followed by a new, modified employment contract or (iii) adjustment of the employment contract.