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Dismissal: Employee Rights

All employees have statutory rights that provide them with safe and secure employment conditions. For example, an employee may not be dismissed without certain factors being taken into consideration. Do you know your rights in connection with dismissal? On this page we explain your rights as an employee in a dismissal situation.

When can an employer terminate an employment relationship?

The requirement to consult before a decision regarding dismissal is made

The content of the notice of dismissal

Important time limits

Preferential right to a new appointment

Right to a reference

Assistance from NITO in dismissal cases

When can an employer terminate an employment relationship?

Section 15-7 of the Working Environment Act states that an employee may only dismiss an employee if dismissal is objectively justified on the basis of circumstances relating to the enterprise, the employer or the employee. What is deemed objectively justified will depend on a concrete assessment, and NITO can assess whether or not a dismissal was objectively justified on your behalf.

The requirement to consult before a decision regarding dismissal is made; Working Environment Act, section 15-1

Before the employer makes a decision regarding dismissal, it must discuss the matter with the employee and, unless the employee wishes otherwise, the employee's representatives.

The content of the notice of dismissal; Working Environment Act, section 15-4

Notice of dismissal must be given in writing. The notice must contain information regarding: the employee's right to demand negotiations and to institute legal proceedings; the employee's right to remain in his/her position; and the time limits for demanding negotiations, instituting legal proceedings, and for remaining in the position.

If a dismissal is justified on the ground of shortage of work, the notice must also notify the employee of his/her preferential right to a new appointment in accordance with section 14-2 of the Working Environment Act. The notice must also state the name of the employer and the appropriate defendant in the event of legal proceedings.

Important time limits; Working Environment Act, section 17-3

If the employee considers the grounds for dismissal not to be objectively justified, he/she may demand negotiations with the employer. A demand for negotiations must be received by the employer no later than two weeks after receipt of the notice of dismissal.

The employee is entitled to bring an adviser to such a meeting. An adviser from NITO's secretariat can provide assistance during negotiations if you request it. NITO encourages its members to contact our secretariat as soon as they receive notice of dismissal so that we can discuss the case before negotiations begin.

If negotiations fail to reach agreement, the time limit for instituting legal proceedings against the employer is eight weeks from the conclusion of negotiations or, if no negotiations were conducted, from the date on which notice was given.

The employee may remain in his/her position until the case is settled by a final decision if legal proceedings are instituted within eight weeks from the conclusion of negotiations or from the date on which notice was given and before expiry of the notice period.

If an employee claims compensation only, the time limit for instituting legal proceedings is six months from the date on which notice was given.

Preferential right to a new appointment; Working Environment Act, section 14-2

If the dismissal is justified on the ground of shortage of work, the employee has preferential right to a new appointment with the employer for one year from the expiry of the notice period.

The preferential right applies to employees who have been employed for at least 12 months during the preceding two years. An employee wishing to claim preferential right must apply for vacant positions and state his/her claim to preferential right in applications.

Right to a reference; Working Environment Act, section 15-15

The employee is entitled to a written reference from the employer. The reference must state the employee's name, date of birth, the nature of the work and the duration of the employment relationship. The employee may also be entitled to a more detailed reference in the case of employment relationships where this is customary.

Assistance from NITO in dismissal cases

As a member of NITO, you are entitled to bring an adviser from NITO's secretariat to negotiations with your employer. We advise you to take advantage of this offer if you consider the grounds for dismissal not to be objectively justified or if you feel the need for further justification in order to make a proper assessment.

NITO is dependent on attending this meeting in order to be able to assess whether your dismissal was objectively justified and to determine whether we can provide further assistance in the form of legal proceedings if negotiations fail to reach an agreement. Should we find that there is legal basis for instituting legal proceedings, and if the employee desires this, all the costs of the process will be covered by NITO.

Beyond verbal guidance, no legal assistance is provided in cases that arose prior to (pre-date) membership of NITO. No legal assistance is provided in any cases that arise before three months' membership in NITO. The reason for this is that legal proceedings are costly, and it would be unfair to other members if we were to give priority to individuals who join NITO to obtain free assistance with a specific

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