Termination

Notice

Are employers required to give notice of termination?

An employer can choose to either:

  • terminate an employment contract with notice; or
  • terminate an employment contract immediately and pay an indemnity in lieu of notice.

A combination of both, where service of a notice period is followed by an indemnity for the remainder of the notice period is also possible.

Redundancies

What are the rules that govern redundancy procedures?

Any indemnity in lieu of notice is calculated based on the employee’s annual salary at the time of termination, including statutory and contractual fringe benefits. If an employment contract is terminated with an indemnity in lieu of notice, no formalities are required; this is contrary to a termination by serving a notice period. Most of the procedural rules are in the Employment Contracts Act of 3 July 1978. The rules regarding reasons for dismissal are set out in Collective Bargaining Agreement 109.

Are there particular rules for collective redundancies/mass layoffs?

Where multiple redundancies qualify as a collective dismissal, the legislation on collective dismissals and the closure of undertakings (if necessary) apply.

A collective dismissal or the closure of an undertaking triggers several specific obligations for employers, including a requirement to:

  • provide prior information and consultation obligations with employee representatives;
  • several notice requirements to the authorities;
  • indemnity payments; and
  • redeployment initiatives.

Protections

What protections do employees have on dismissal?

There are procedural protections with regard to how employers must notify employees that they are being dismissed (content and means of communication). If an employee is dismissed for serious cause, the employer must follow a strict procedure.

If a labour court declares a dismissal manifestly unreasonable, this triggers additional compensation for the employee. Dismissals based on protected characteristic or because of a transfer of undertaking are prohibited.

Finally, certainly employees (eg, pregnant women, trade union representatives and candidates for the social elections and prevention advisers) are protected.