You are not obliged to come to the hearing, but it is recommended. If you do not attend, this may result in the court ruling against you.
If you do come, you will have the opportunity to give your opinion. The applicant is given the opportunity to speak first in the employment law proceedings. The applicant will explain the application. Then the opposing party (defendant) will give their response. Then both parties will be given another chance to speak. The judge will also ask questions.
Power of attorney
Are you being represented at the hearing by a lawyer, another legal adviser or someone else who is aware of the case? Please provide them with a written power of attorney.
This is a public hearing. This means that anyone can attend the hearing.
Attending a hearing
No witnesses are heard at this hearing. You are permitted to bring colleagues or other persons involved, but they are attendees rather than witnesses.
At the hearing, the judge will hold discussions with both parties to find the most appropriate solution to this situation: mediation, settlement or court ruling.
The judge may issue a preliminary ruling on the case. They will explain their view on the case. They will then often give the parties the opportunity to find a solution together (settlement). If both parties agree to this, then the judge will interrupt the hearing. You will work together to try to come to an agreement in relation to the accident at work and/or occupational illness outside of the courtroom (‘out of court’).
You will then return to the courtroom at the agreed time. If you have managed to come to an agreement together, then this settlement will be recorded in an official report. This will be signed by both parties. A copy of the official report will be sent to your home address. The settlement is a binding agreement. The employer and employee must both honour this agreement.
Judicial proceedings focus on the legal aspects of a conflict and often deal solely with the past. Mediation means that you and the other party/parties seek a forward-looking solution to all aspects of the dispute. Sometimes mediation is quicker and cheaper than legal proceedings. The court will therefore see if your case lends itself to mediation. You also have the option of indicating that you wish to follow the mediation route.
Out-of-court mediation - in Dutch