This is apparent from a decision made public yesterday by the Rotterdam subdistrict court.
The man worked for a South Holland insurance company until the end of last year, but in November he started working for an IT company in the same province. There he earned a gross monthly salary of 5800 euros.
In February, however, his new employer learned through a tip from a colleague that the man had never terminated his old employment. The man thus maintained two full-time jobs, and thus also earned two salaries.
Because the man worked (a lot) from home as a freelancer due to corona, this initially went unnoticed by his employers. After the tip, the automation company confronted the man, who then acknowledged that he was also employed by his previous employer.
The employee did state that he had actually worked the number of hours for which both employers paid him. He would have worked in the evenings and weekends. In this way, the man said he wanted to pay off a debt of almost 20,000 euros with a divorce lawyer.
Claim 120.000 euro
Upon discovery, the employee lost both jobs, and with them his incomes. Because he has himself to blame for the dismissals, he cannot claim unemployment benefits either. To make matters worse, the automation company took him to court, with a series of claims for damages totaling 120,000 euros.
The ruling made public yesterday shows that the Rotterdam subdistrict court awarded some of those claims at the end of May. The judge understands that this worsens the man’s personal and financial situation, but rules that his ‘acting was completely unacceptable’.
Eighty hours of work undesirable
The Subdistrict Court points out that the man not only acted in violation of the prohibition on ancillary activities in his employment contract, but also violated the Working Hours Act.
In the first place, according to the court, it cannot be verified that he has actually worked all the paid hours. “In addition, it is in any case undesirable that an employee works a total of eighty hours a week for two employers. For example, the risk of failure due to overload is very high.”
Fine 33,280 euros
Finally, the man ‘seriously violated the confidence that an employer can and should have that an employee who works from home actually performs his duties (…)’.
However, the sub-district court ruled that one of the employer’s claims was unreasonably high, and another partial claim was unjustified. This means that the ex-employee has to pay the automation company 33,280 euros.