Termination of employment may be voluntary if the employee resigns or it may be at the hands of the employer, often in the form of dismissal (firing) or a layoff.
If an employment contract does not specify any duration, either party can terminate the contract by giving prior notice at or before any time of payment (not more than 3 months in advance) to have effect in the next pay period.
Dismissal is generally due to employee’s fault. An employee can be dismissed without prior notice and compensation from the employer in following cases:
• The employee willfully disobeys or habitually neglects the lawful commands of his employer
• The employee is absent from service for a period of 3 consecutive work days without a reasonable cause
• The employee is guilty of gross misconduct
• The employee acts in a manner incompatible with the due and faithful discharge of his duty
• The employee has been imprisoned by a final judgment
In case an employee violates the work rules, regulations, or orders of the employer which are lawful and just, a written warning may be given by the employer, except for serious cases where no warning is required prior to termination.
Prior to issuing the warning letter, the employer should first consider the work rules. If they contain a disciplinary procedure consisting of several stages which have to be followed step by step, the employer must follow each step.
The employer should meet with the employee in order to identify and agree on solutions to improve the situation. The warring letter should include a concrete and precise description of the performance or conduct issue, what has been discussed with the employee about the issue, and the steps for resolving it. Further, the employer should ask the employee to sign the warning letter as an acknowledgement.
The termination letter should be provided via post or personally.
The employee can have the termination reviewed by the Labor Court. If the Court finds that the termination was unjust, the employer may be ordered to allow the employee to work under the old conditions. If it is determined the termination was unjust, but continuation of work is unacceptable, the employer must compensate the employee for damages.
A layoff is generally done for business reasons, such as a business slowdown or an economic downturn, without being the fault of the employee.
In the event that the employer relocates its place of business to a new location or to other existing location and the employee refuses to move and work in that location, the employee has the right to terminate the employment contract within 30 days from the date of being informed by the employer of the date of relocation, as the case may be.
Retirement is another case of employment termination. If the retirement age in not set by the employer, agreed by both employer and employee, or the agreed retirement age is higher than 60 years old, the employee has the right to retire by expressing his intention to the employer. The retirement will then be effective after 30 days from the date the intention to retire was expressed.