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Are employers required to give notice of termination?
In general, termination by serving a notice period is not allowed. However, for fixed-term employment contracts the employer must serve the employee with prior written notice of two weeks before the contract expires.
What are the rules that govern redundancy procedures?
Under both the General Labour Law (2/00) and the new General Labour Law (7/15), redundancy occurs when the employer faces economic, technological or structural circumstances that give rise to an internal reorganisation or conversion or the reduction or closure of activities, which makes it necessary to eliminate or significantly alter jobs. The law provides for two main types of redundancy procedure: collective dismissal and individual redundancy.
Are there particular rules for collective redundancies/mass layoffs?
Under the General Labour Law (2/00), if the redundancy process will affect five or more employees and the termination of the employment contracts will occur within three months, the employer may proceed with a collective dismissal. Under the new General Labour Law (7/15), a collective dismissal can take place if the redundancy procedure covers more than 20 employees. Otherwise, the more flexible individual redundancy rules shall apply.
A collective dismissal requires the employer to:
- serve an initial redundancy notice on the union committee and the Ministry of Labour;
- carry out a mandatory information and consultation process with all parties concerned; and
- serve a final collective termination notice on the employees.
The Ministry of Labour has supervisory powers over the process and the prerogative to reject the collective dismissal process.
All cases of redundancy give the employee the right to a notice period of 30 days for unskilled personnel and 60 days for skilled personnel (or payment of salary in lieu), plus compensation of one month’s base salary per full year of service up to five years of seniority and 50% of the monthly base salary per each additional year. Under the new General Labour Law (7/15), micro, small and medium-sized companies may pay reduced compensation to redundant employees.
What protections do employees have on dismissal?
Employees may bring a case for reinstatement (which involves the payment of their salary while the legal proceedings are pending) or compensation calculated pursuant to their monthly base salary per full year of service, with a minimum of three monthly base salaries. The claim for reinstatement must be filed within 180 days of termination; compensation may be claimed within 12 months of the same date.
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