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Argentina - Substantive requirements for dismissals

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Argentina - 2018    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
  • Art. 242 LCL: Termination for "just cause" (justa causa):
    Either of the parties may terminate the contract of employment if the other fails to discharge his or her obligations under the contract to an extent such that the relationship can no longer continue. When an employer decides to dismiss a worker for "just cause", notice of the fact must be given in writing with a sufficiently clear indication of the grounds invoked for the termination of the contract.

    Where the other party challenges the termination, no changes on the grounds indicated in the notice are permitted (art. 243 LCL).

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons; economic reasons
  • Art. 242 LCL: Termination for "justified grounds" (justa causa): Either of the parties may terminate the contract of employment if the other fails to discharge his or her obligations under the contract to an extent such that the relationship can no longer continue. The LCL does not specify the conduct or acts that will be considered sufficient to terminate employment.

    Art. 247 LCL: A dismissal can be ordered for reasons of force majeure or on account of a shortage or reduction of work that is duly proved to be beyond the employer's control. In such case, the worker is entitled to receive compensation.

    Art. 244 LCL: A worker's abandonment of his or her work may be regarded as constituting a failure to discharge his or her duties only if he or she is found to be absent after formal notice has been served on the worker instructing him or her to resume work within a period appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; race; sex; religion; political opinion; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities
  • See: Art. 17 LCL: general prohibition of discrimination in employment; art. 178 (dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy); art: 181-182 (dismissal on the grounds of marriage).

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; confirmed injured workers; older workers/workers on the verge of retirement; workers performing military/alternative service; workers on temporary leave following an occupational disease or a work injury; workers holding an elected position or discharging a public function
  • Argentine law provides special protection from employment termination to some specific categories of workers, including: women, trade union representatives and members, injured workers, workers on the verge of retirement, and those serving in the military.

    - A woman worker must notify her employer of her pregnancy and provide a medical certificate stating that her confinement will probably take place within the period indicated. She is to retain her employment during the period indicated and is entitled to the allowances granted by the social security schemes. She must also be guaranteed stability of employment, which will constitute an acquired right from the date on which she notifies her employer of the fact that she is pregnant (art. 177 LCL).

    It shall be presumed, in the absence of proof to the contrary, that the dismissal of a female worker is carried out on the grounds of maternity or pregnancy if it takes place within seven and a half months before or after confinement, if and when the woman has fulfilled her obligation to notify and prove, through certification, the fact that she is pregnant and, if applicable, the birth of the child. Under such circumstances, she should be paid compensation equivalent to one year's wages in addition to any other compensation required by law (arts. 177 and 182 LCL).

    - A worker belonging to a board of management or holding representative office in an occupational association with trade status, in bodies which require trade union representation, or holding political office in the Government, is entitled to automatic leave without pay, and the employer must keep his or her job open and reinstate him or her when he or she ceases to perform his or her duties. The worker is to enjoy security of employment throughout the term of office and for one year thereafter, unless there is good cause for dismissal (Act No. 23551 of 14 Apr. 1988 on trade unions, art. 48).

    - Trade union representatives in an enterprise may not be suspended, have their working conditions changed, or be dismissed throughout their terms of office and for one year thereafter, unless there is good cause for doing so. Security of employment for a trade union representative begins from the time of his or her candidature for a representative office in a trade union is submitted, and he or she may not be dismissed or suspended without good cause, nor may his or her conditions of work be modified for a period of six months. This protection will cease for those workers whose candidature is not officialised in accordance with the applicable electoral process from the moment in which such circumstance is certainly determined.(Act No. 23551, arts. 48 and 50).

    - Article 50 Act No. 23551 establishes the special protections for worker representatives: Workers protected by articles 40, 48 and 50 of this Act cannot be suspended, dismissed or have their contractual conditions modified without a judicial decision excluding such protection, in accordance with the procedure established in Article 47. […] When the employer violates the protection established in the abovementioned articles, the worker will have the right to demand before a judge its reinstatement, together with the salaries lost during the judicial procedure, or the reestablishment of its working conditions. […]

    - Where, on expiry of the periods for which work may be interrupted on account of a bona fide accident or illness, a worker is unable to return to work, the employer should keep his or her post open for one year, counting from the expiry of such periods (art. 211 LCL).

    - Where a worker fulfils the qualifying conditions for retirement pensions and begins the necessary formalities, the employer must maintain the employment relationship until the appropriate fund grants the benefit, for a maximum of one year (art. 252 LCL).

    - An employer must keep a worker's post open if the latter is obliged to perform compulsory military service because of an ordinary call-up, mobilization or special call-up, and must continue to do so from the date of the call-up and until 30 days after the completion of the service (art. 214 LCL).