Labour Act [LA], No. 4857 of 22 May 2003. [Note that this Act was amended by several acts (No. 5838 2009, Act No. 5763 of 2008, Act No. 5754 of 2008, Act No. 5538 of 2006, Act No. 5378 of 2005, Act No. 4884 of 2003, see NATLEX). Date: 18 Feb 2009 (view in NATLEX»)
Law on Trade Unions and Collective Labour Agreements No.6356 (replacing Laws No. 2821 and No.2822) Date: 18 Oct 2012; view website » (view in NATLEX»)
Code of Obligations of 19 December 2012 Date: 20 Dec 2012 (view in NATLEX»)
Law on Labor Courts No. 7036 Date: 25 Oct 2017
Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Art. 19 LA. This requirement only applies if the following criteria are fulfilled: - the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and - the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and - the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees. In addition, are also excluded from this requirement: the employer's representatives and his assistants authorized to manage the entire enterprise as well as the employer's representatives managing the entire establishment who are also authorized to recruit and terminate employees.
Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
* Art 18 LA (termination with a valid reason/ job security provision): There must be a valid reason for dismissal connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee or based on the operational requirements of the undertaking.
This requirement only applies if the 3 following criteria are fulfilled: - the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and - the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and - the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees.
In addition, are also excluded from this protection: the employer's representatives and his assistants authorized to managed the entire enterprise as well as the employer' representatives managing the entire establishment who are also authorized to recruit and terminate employees.
In case of such dismissal with just cause, the notice requirements shall be complied with.
* Therefore, employers can dismiss employees falling outside the scope of application of article 18 LA (job security provision) without having to present a valid reason provided that the notice requirements are observed in accordance with art. 17 LA. However, the employer is not entirely free in dismissing those employees since in the event of abusive termination of his or her right to terminate, he or she shall be liable to pay compensation amounting to 3 times the wages for period of notice (= max. 24 weeks).
* In addition, the LA allows the employer or the employee to immediately terminate an employment contract for a just cause whether for a definite or indefinite period, before its expiry or without the prescribed notice periods. This is referred to in the law as the "the breaking of the employment contract". The law provides a list of reasons for breaking the contract for a just cause which are divided in three groups for the employee and four groups for the employer (Art. 24 and 25 LA), namely, reasons of health; immoral or dishonourable conduct or other similar behaviour and force majeure. There is also a fourth group for the employer which is the employee being under arrest or under custody. The employer is entitled to break the employment contract, whether for a definite or indefinite period, before its expiry or without the prescribed notice periods in the above cases.
Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; trade union membership and activities; language; birth
*According to Art. 18 LA (job security provision) the following, inter alia, shall not constitute a valid reason for termination: a) union membership or participation in union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours; b) acting or having acted in the capacity of, or seeking office as, a union representative; c) the filing of a complaint or participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violations of laws or regulations or recourse to competent administrative or judicial authorities; d) race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, birth, religion, political opinion and similar reasons; e) absence from work during maternity leave when female workers must not be engaged in work, as foreseen in Article 74; f) temporary absence from work during the waiting period due to illness or accident foreseen in Article 25 of the Labor Act, subsection I (b).
This provision only applies if the 3 following criteria are fulfilled: - the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and - the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and - the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees.
* The general provision on non discrimination (art. 5 LA) covers all the employees in the scope of the EA and prohibits discrimination in employment (including termination) based on language, race, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sex or similar reasons. Unless there are essential reasons for different treatment, the employer must not discriminate between a full-time and a part-time employee or an employee working under a contract concluded for a definite period and one working under a contract concluded for an indefinite period. In addition, except for biological reasons or reasons related to the nature of the job, the employer must not make any discrimination, either directly or indirectly, against an employee in the conclusion, conditions, execution and termination of his employment contract due to the employee's sex or maternity.
* See also Art. 25 of Law No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective Labour Agreements (2012) concerning the prohibition of dismissals and of discrimination on the basis of trade union membership and activities.
Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
* Art. 24 of the 2012 Act No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective agreements: “ (1) An employer shall not terminate the employment contract of shop stewards unless there is a just cause for termination and he indicates this clearly and precisely. The shop steward or the trade union of which he is a member shall have the right to apply to the competent court within one month of the date when the notice of termination is communicated to him (...). (3) If the court decides that the trade union representative is to be reinstated in his employment, the termination shall be annulled and the employer shall pay his full wages and all other benefits between the termination and final decision date. On the condition that the trade union representative applies within six working days following the final decision of reinstatement, and in the event that he is not reinstated within six working days, his wage and other benefits shall continue to be paid by taking into account that his employment relation is still continuing. This provision shall likewise apply in the case of a new appointment as shop steward. (4) Unless there is a written consent of the shop steward, the employer shall not change the workplace of the shop steward or shall not make a drastic change in his work. Otherwise, the change shall be considered as void."
* Prohibition to dismiss a women on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave (Art. 18 LA) and general prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of maternity (Art. 5 LA).