Termination / Dismissal

As an employee you have rights as well as obligations towards your employer. These are mainly regulated in the Employment Protection Act (LAS) but also in other bodies of law and agreements. Many employment related disputes concerns terminations and often your union can offer assistance. The union have many members and sometimes they are not able to fully offer the help their members need when disputes occure.

There are two types of termination: termination due to labour shortages, or termination due to personal reasons. Terminations are required to be well founded and reasonable according to the law. If a termination is done in conflict with the law the employer is liable for damages towards the employee. 

Labour shortages is an umbrella term for reasons not related directly to the employee. For instance the company might need to reorganize, have a lack of resources, or otherwise consider themselves required to restructure/outsource in order to make business more effective. Real organizational reasons constitutes well founded and reasonable reasons to terminate.

Termination due to personal reasons are related to the employee directly. Actions that is reason for the employer to consider the trust for the employee to be gone are reasonable grounds for termination. Such actions might be breaching the employment contract, misbehaving in a series of instances which on their own might be considered non-issues but collectively motivates a termination. Unauthorized absence from work, co-operation issues, refusal to work, or being late to work are all examples of misbehavior that might constitute a ground for a termination on personal reasons. Furthermore a lack in the ability to perform on the job because of an injury might mean a reasonable ground for termination is at hand. It is however required for the employer to investigate and exhaust all possibilities of an alternative solution before resorting to termination.

Labour law is riddled with technical legal expressions which might be hard to interpret and understand, as well as there being different laws and regulations to consider. It is important to know that there are quite short deadlines for making claims. An employee have a right to know the grounds for termination. The termination needs to be in writing and should contain information about the deadlines you have for action if you wish to challenge the termination. It is not unusual for the employer to forget to include or simply leave such information out of the notice. Therefore it is important not to wait for too long before acting or seeking advice on how to act.

In disputes regarding termination the employee is often in a vulnerable position despite the fact that the burden of proof lies on the employer. If a conflict has occurred the plan of action might look different. It can be anything ranging from a lengthy court process to solve the dispute to out of court negotiations and a settlement.

If you consider a termination to be wrongful you have two weeks to challenge the termination, starting from the date you received the notice of termination. The challenge should be in a written message to the employer in which you explain that the termination is challenged, make sure to put down the date of termination and the date of the challenge. After that you have another two weeks to sue the employer and petition to void the termination. If negotiations have been commenced in accordance to the Co-Determination in the Workplace Act (MBL) the deadline runs two weeks from when the negotiations end. Contact your union or another legal counsel for advice.

You have a right to compensation if the termination is wrongful, even if you have not challenged the termination. If you intend to file for damages you have to give your employer notice within four months of receiving the notice of termination. After that you have another four months to sue the employer and claim damages. If negotiations have been commenced in accordance to the Co-Determination in the Workplace Act (MBL) the deadline runs four months from when the negotiations end.

If you are terminated due to labour shortage and have been with the employer for more than twelve months within the last three years you have a priority right to re-employment. If you want to retain such a right you need to give notice to your employer. The right of priority is valid nine months from the date of termination. Keep in mind which deadline it is for when you need to give notice to your employer. It is always a good idea to give such notice in writing, as evidence.

If you miss one of the deadlines you forfeit the right to have the termination or claims for damages tried in a court of law. Sometimes the termination is not as clear as when you get a written notice. It might be a case of a disagreement between you and your employer where the employer asks for the keys to the office and ask you to leave. Depending on the situation such a demand can be considered a termination. In such cases it is a good idea to seek legal counseling since the situations can be hard to interpret.

Labour law is different in the sense that it is not possible to receive economic assistance from a legal assistance insurance. The intention is that the unions should provide such assistance. This means that an employee have to cover the costs of a lawyer himself. In case the employee earns less than a certain amount he/she can file for legal aid which, if granted, means the public will cover some of the costs for a lawyer.

Skicka fråga