“How do we arrange the reorganisation as best as possible for our people, in accordance with legislation, and if possible, even better than that?” – Rick Ramautar, HR Manager at Bakker Sliedrecht.
From design and production to installation and maintenance: Bakker Sliedrecht (part of PON-Holdings) takes care of all complex electrical systems on board a ship. Always, 24/7. Everywhere, at home and abroad, thanks to a global service network. With 250 specialists, Bakker Sliedrecht offers the total picture. For more than a century.
Thinking back to the first encounter with Kneppelhout, Rick Ramautar, HR manager at Bakker Sliedrecht, smiles. “That was in 2016, with my previous employer. We were in the middle of a reorganisation and you don’t just switch law firms at such times. I had urgent issues for which a solution had to be found immediately. And our house lawyer didn’t have one, so I had to act quickly. I came into contact with employment law lawyer Arnold Birkhoff, who guided us well with, among other things, a redundancy plan. Our collaboration started in the heat of the moment, you could say.”
“People are our most important asset. You have to look after them really well.”
Since that moment in 2016, the collaboration has been a fact, also since Rick joined Bakker Sliedrecht: “Kneppelhout moved with me. An HR department can’t do without a good employment law lawyer. The Bakker Group has its own legal department, but with 250 employees, we like to hire knowledge if we have employment law issues. People are our most important asset. You have to look after them really well.
Sometimes you have to say goodbye to people, for example, for economic reasons. You want everything to be done well. For example, by drawing up a redundancy plan that pays attention to a transition payment, training budget and/or outplacement process. You will also have to deal with other employment law issues, such as the reflection principle. How do we apply this to our organisation? How do we ensure that we arrange things properly for our people in accordance with legislation, and if possible even better than that?
An HR department can do a lot itself, but it has to be legally correct. That is why I like to have my work checked by an employment law lawyer.
“Kneppelhout always looks to the future, you keep control.”
Kneppelhout’s employment law lawyers advise on issues that arise during a reorganisation and can help draw up or assess a redundancy plan. “And even in good times we have regular contact, for example, to check the content of an employment contract or to discuss the way in which we apply the collective agreement. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, so we also need to ensure that our employment law documents are kept up to date.
In our collaboration, Kneppelhout always looks to the future. Some issues have been going on in your organisation for some time and you would have acted differently with today’s knowledge. Nevertheless, we always look for a solution, one that works well for both the employer and the employee. Arnold, and also the other employment law lawyers, always leave the choice up to you: Kneppelhout gives advice, but never makes the decision. You are in control. I like that and I know from experience that this is not the case everywhere.”
“Arnold is available 24/7. And I’m not exaggerating.”
Rick is satisfied with the collaboration: “In addition to knowledge and expertise, we also think it’s important that we can always ask questions. 24/7.” And they can, as it turned out recently: “While Arnold was bobbing somewhere on the Greek coast, I had an urgent issue. Within no time at all, he set up a meeting and I could ask my questions. That same day I had the necessary information in my mailbox via one of his team members, isn’t that fantastic?” says Rick. “And I have more examples,” he continues: “We also sometimes called at 23:30 in the evening. Although I don’t want to make a habit of that,” Rick laughs. “Anyway, I’m not exaggerating when I say: available 24/7.”