Termination of the employment contract
The employer is entitled to terminate a fixed-term employment contract based on production related or financial reasons or reasons arising from the employee. The employee does not need to give a reason for terminating the employment relationship.
The employer is not entitled to terminate a fixed-term employment contract before it expires. The employee is not entitled to resign either, but the matter can often be settled with negotiations between the employee and the employer.
If less work is available, the employer must try to arrange other work or different training for the employee before termination. If the employer is declared bankrupt, the employment contract can be terminated. A change of ownership is not sufficient grounds for the termination of employment. Neither is pregnancy nor family leave.
Termination grounds related to the employee’s person include a serious breach or neglect of occupational obligations. However, the employer must provide a warning before termination. Termination grounds may also include repeatedly arriving late for work or absence from work in spite of warning.
If the employer terminates your employment contract, always request a written notice of termination.
Both the employer and the employee must adhere to the notice period. During the notice period, the employee is required to perform his or her work and is entitled to receive pay as usual.
The duration of the notice period depends on the duration of the employment relationship. The law stipulates the following notice periods.
The following notice periods are applied if the employment contract is terminated by the employer:
- 14 days, if the duration of the employment relationship is 1 year or less
- 1 month, if the duration of the employment relationship is 1 to 4 years
- 2 months, if the duration of the employment relationship is 4 to 8 years
- 4 months, if the duration of the employment relationship is 8 to 12 years
- 6 months, if the duration of the employment relationship is over 12 years
The following notice periods are applied if the employment contract is terminated by the employee:
- 14 days, if the duration of the employment relationship is 5 years or less
- 1 month, if the duration of the employment relationship is over 5 years
Termination of the employment relationship by cancellation
The employer is entitled to cancel the employment contract with an immediate effect only upon an extremely weighty cause. Such a cause must be weightier and more severe than the grounds for termination.
The employer is not required to provide a warning before cancelling the employment contract. The employment relationship will end immediately without a notice period.
The employer may legally cancel the employment relationship if, for example, the employee behaves in a violent manner at the workplace. According to legislation, the employer is entitled to deem the employment relationship cancelled if the employee has been absent from work for a minimum of seven days without permission.
Before terminating the employment contract, the employer shall provide the employee with an opportunity to be heard concerning the grounds for termination. The employee is entitled to resort to the assistance of the shop steward when being heard.
Unless otherwise agreed, the employer must pay the pay-off and any holiday allowance no later than on the day the employment relationship ends.
Right to receive an employment certificate
At the conclusion of the employment relationship, you have a statutory right to receive an employment certificate which specifies the duration of the work and duties. If you wish, you can request the employer to include the grounds for termination as well as an assessment of work skills and behaviour in the certificate.