Austrian law provides for summary termination of employment where, in light of an employee’s conduct, it would be unreasonable for an employer to retain them in employment or allow them to work a period of notice.

One of the main requirements of summary dismissal, if it is to be fair in law, is that the employee is informed of dismissal without delay, once relevant circumstances arise.

Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that an employer is deemed to have the knowledge of its senior personnel in this context. In the particular case, the manager of a restaurant became aware of grounds justifying the summary dismissal of an employee on 26th of November. However, he did not act upon it or inform the company’s HR team until 2nd December. Despite the company dismissing the employee with immediate effect on 2nd December, it was found to have delayed unreasonably. The Supreme Court found that the manager had been aware of the grounds of dismissal for a week and the company therefore acted unreasonably in not communicating the summary dismissal sooner.