Remedies against unfair or unlawful termination without notice

Irrespective of the kind of the employment contract, if it was terminated without notice in an unfair or unlawful manner, the employee may file for:

  • reinstatement to his or her previous position or
  • damages.

The choice of the remedy to make use of belongs to the employee.

The amount of damages depends on the kind of the employment contract:

  • if an employment contract for indefinite time was terminated without notice, the damages equal, as a rule, to the employee’s wages for the applicable notice period;
  • if an employment contract for definite time was terminated without notice, the damages equal, as a rule, to the employee’s wages for the time, until which the terminated employment contract was supposed to last, though for no longer then 3 months.

The court may award damages even if the employee demanded otherwise if it is found that, despite the termination being unfair or unlawful, it would be impossible or purposeless to continue employment.

Specifically in relation to employment contracts for definite time, sometimes the employee may be entitled to damages only. This restriction applies in situations where the period for which the employment contract was supposed to remain in force has already lapsed or where the period in question is so short that reinstatement seems inexpedient judging by the facts of the case.

Termination of the employment contract without notice by the employer without the employee’s fault

In certain cases the employer is empowered to terminate the employment contract with immediate effect even without the employee’s fault. Grounds for such termination are connected to the employee’s long-lasting absence.

First, the employment contract may be terminated if the employee’s incapacity to work due to illness:

  • is longer than 3 months – with regard to employees whose length of employment with a particular employer is shorter than 6 months,
  • is longer than the period covered by sick pay and sickness benefits (i.e. 182 days) and the first 3 months covered by the rehabilitation benefit – with regard to employees whose length of employment with a particular employer is at least 6 months or whose incapacity to work was caused by an accident at work or an occupational disease (irrespective of the length of employment).

Second, the employer may terminate the employment contract without notice if the period of the employee’s justified absence at work for reasons other than illness exceeds 1 month.

Termination is prohibited after the employee has returned to work because the reason for absence ceased to exist.

Moreover, subject to the employer’s situation, the employee dismissed on grounds discussed above should be re-employed if, within 6 months of termination, they report ready to return to work immediately after the grounds for termination have ceased to exist.

As in other cases of termination, the employer’s statement to that effect must be made in writing and provide the reason for termination.

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