The employer can terminate an employment agreement due to various circumstances.
Either party may terminate a contract during the probation period, without the requirement of observing the notice period and based on a written notification.
The contract can end (1) following the employee’s request to end the contract at a specific date (with no notice period observed) as a result of the employer’s consent or (2) following the mutual agreement signed between the parties (with no notice period observed).
The employer can dismiss the employee in various situations.
A. Reasons pertaining to the employee:
In the case of a gross misconduct, certain steps have to be followed before a disciplinary dismissal:
After the hearing takes place, the committee makes a decision, weighing the accusation and the employee’s defence.
If the employee refuses to appear at the hearing, the committee can perform the hearing in the employee’s absence. If the committee decides to terminate the employment, they have to bring their decision to the employee’s attention within not more than five days.
To prove the employee’s professional inadequacy, a direct manager must first present a review of poor results with observations.
Then, the manager has to draw up an action plan, giving the employee a chance to get the performance back on track by a certain date.
If the result isn’t successful, the employer has to offer the employee another position in the company, more appropriate to the employee’s abilities.
Finally, if such position isn’t available, the employer can proceed with the dismissal.
B. Reasons not pertaining to the employee:
The employer must issue an objective reason regarding each dismissal cause mentioned above, with as many details as possible:
Certain employees find protection from being dismissed during certain periods of their lives, as follows:
In addition employees cannot be terminated for any reasons that may be deemed discriminatory such as their race, sex, language, political or union views, or religion.
They also are protected from termination when the employee is in receipt of reinsertion allowance and for exercising the rights to be informed on employment-related issues, trial periods, requesting a transition to a vacant position with more favourable conditions; participating in professional training courses provided by the employer.
Employees have the right to challenge termination decisions in court. Proceedings usually take around one year, depending on complexity. If the employee wins, the court declares the termination invalid. Then, the employer reinstates the employee, covering the employee’s court expenses and paying the employee’s salary and other salary rights for the period between termination and reinstatement. On rare occasions, the employee can also receive additional compensation for moral damages.
Employees can resign after observing the notice period, or the employer can waver part or all of the notice period, with a maximum notice period being 20 working days (45 for management positions). In practice, if the employee doesn’t want to observe the notice period in full, the employer has no way to enforce it.
Employers need to have a valid and recognised reason to terminate an employee. The Labour Code recognises the following as such reasons:
Notice period duration in case of dismissal, should be no shorter than 20 working days.
The employee can claim severance pay if the company ceases to exist or relocates, or if the employee’s role becomes redundant as a result of the company’s re-organization. Individual or collective agreements should contain the amount of severance pay, with a minimum of one month’s salary being the practice.
Notice period in case of resignation, should be no longer than 20 working days for execution positions and 45 working days for management positions.