There are two reasons on which the employer may base a decision to terminate employment: reasons stemming from the employee’s personal conduct or capacity or due to a lack of appropriate or relevant work. Upon termination due to lack of work, the Job Transition Agreement entitles you to an extended period of notice. There is no equivalent if termination occurs due to personal reasons. If the situation is serious enough to lead to formal dismissal, there is no notice period at all.
The most common reason for employment to be terminated is that the employer cites a shortage of work. Redundancy is a legal term, and includes all the reasons not attributable to the employee personally. Consequently an actual shortage of work tasks is not necessary for the employer to declare that there is not enough work to be done. See here for more information about lack of work.
It is rare, but it does happen that employment is terminated with reference to personal reasons. Personal reasons include all the reasons that arise due to the individual employee: cooperation problems, negligence and so on. Decisions on termination of employment for personal reasons for government employees should be preceded by decisions in the Disciplinary Board, (or the State Disciplinary Board in some cases).
Job Transition Agreement
The State Sector Job Transition Agreement covers employees who are made redundant after having been employed for at least one year, but not employees who resign or whose employment is terminated due to personal reasons. See here for more information about the Job Transition Agreement.
The employer’s right to manage and distribute work
The employer is entitled to manage and distribute work, which also means that the employer has the right to choose how to organise operations and which operations to focus on in the future.
The employer must show just cause – a multi-step process
For a position to be terminated due to lack of work, the employer must be able to demonstrate that there is a factual basis for the decision. This is done by the employer presenting relevant material to the union showing that all requirements have been met.
- Lack of work does exist, including measures that have been taken to avoid a lack of work situation occurring.
- The principle of “last in first out” has been applied for relevant employees. (In the state sector, this is based on essentially comparable functions)
- A redeployment study has been conducted. (The employer can show that it has fulfilled its obligation to investigate redeployment opportunities.)
The process involves multiple negotiations between the employer and the trade union. For more information on the different steps in the process, please contact your local union representative.
Are you affected by a possible redundancy situation?
When the employer initiates a reorganisation that could lead to possible redundancies and lack of work, questions and concerns often arise. Contact your local representative for information.