What are the responsibilities of the employer towards probationary and fixed-term employees?
Here is an overview of what opportunities and responsibilities arise for you as an employer in the current situation with respect to probationary or fixed-term employees. During this period, VGD Slovakia also wants to provide its clients with advice, information and opportunities on what you can do as an employer to reduce your personnel costs. The easiest and fastest way to reduce your salary costs is to look at the employee that you can terminate easy: those persons still in their trial period, and those persons who have a contract for a fixed period. However, even in these cases there are obligations that you should comply with. Here are a few things to do:
- Employee in probationary period
Probationary period - is specified in the employment contract for individual employees. It must be agreed in writing, otherwise it is invalid. It may be 3 months or 6 months (in the case of the manager of the direct management of the statutory body or a member of the statutory body and of the manager who is in the direct management of the manager).
If the employment is extended for a certain period of time - the probationary period cannot be agreed again.
In the current situation, it is important to note that the probationary period is extended for the period of obstacles to work on the part of the employee, i.e. if the employee is temporarily incapable of work or on OČR, which is quite common these days – it is possible to prolong probationary period.
Ending of employment in probationary period
Procedure and conditions:
• written notice of probationary termination - hand over best against the employee's signature so that the employer has proof that the employee has been informed of this fact. If the employee does not want to sign the takeover, we recommend you to invite two witnesses before giving the employee a notice. Then write handing over the minutes with them.
• Delivery time: during the probationary period (never after the end of the probationary period) if possible at least 3 days before the end of the trial period, ALWAYS no later than the last day of the trial period, i. e. no later than that day.
• The written notice does not have to indicate the reason for the termination of the employment relationship, but we highly recommend you to indicate it, because in most cases it will be the impact of coronavirus pandemic. With indicating the reason you can avoid some problem (if the employee is temporarily incapable of work, he could argue in the future that the reason for the termination of his employment was his temporary incapacity for work). In the future he could argue that the reason for his termination of employment was his temporary incapacity for work ...). Consideration should be given to how the reason for the termination of employment will be communicated with the employees to bring a discriminatory action.
• The notification does not have to be in writing – i. e. failure to comply with the written form does not invalidate it BUT there is a burden of proof on the employer and this is recommended to be avoided ALWAYS adhere to the written form of the notice of termination of employment during the probationary period with the pregnant woman, the breastfeeding woman and the mother by the end of the ninth month after birth. The main focus here is on justification, termination is possible only in exceptional cases which are not related to her pregnancy or maternity and must be duly justified in writing, otherwise such termination is invalid. It is important to note here that for an employer the employee has the status of a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding woman only if the employee has notified the employer.
- Employee in fixed period relationship
The employment relationship is concluded for a certain period, if it is explicitly specified in the employment contract. The duration of employment for a certain period of time may be defined by a direct time stamp - the number of years, months, weeks that it should last, by specifying a specific calendar day - by date or otherwise, e.g. the period of duration of the agreed works, which are of a temporary nature, stating the event that results in the termination of employment, eg. return of an employee after the end of the public office, a maternity leave employee, etc.
A valid form of an employment contract is a precondition for a valid contract of employment. Failure to adhere to the written form has the effect of agreeing an employment relationship indefinitely. This means that the possibility of verbally negotiating employment for a certain period of time is excluded. Employment for a certain period can be agreed for a maximum of two years.
Extension of duration and renegotiation of fixed-term employment.
In this situation, it is interesting for employers if they do not yet know to what extent the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on their company and therefore do not know how many employees will be forced to dismiss, for example.
Procedure and conditions:
• the same employment relationship is extended - the employment relationship does not end, but continues on the basis of an amendment to the employment contract to change the duration of the employment relationship
• with the same employee, the employer may agree to extend the employment relationship or renegotiate the employment relationship for a certain period of time only for the following reasons:
- in the case of employee representation (precisely defined reasons)
- during maternity leave, parental leave, leave immediately following maternity leave or parental leave,
- temporary incapacity for work,
- release for public office,
- carrying out work requiring a substantial increase in the number of employees for a transitional period not exceeding eight months in a calendar year,
- seasonal work,
- carrying out the work agreed in the collective agreement.
An exception to the fact that the employment relationship can be extended or renegotiated for a certain period of more than two years without the above-mentioned reasons is for special categories of employees:
- with a university teacher
- a creative employee of science, research and development
• A re-agreed employment relationship for a certain period of time is considered to be such an employment relationship, which should be created before the expiration of 6 months after the termination of the previous employment relationship for the same period between the same participants in the employment relationship.
Termination of employment relationship concluded for fix period
Procedure and conditions:
• An employment relationship concluded for a fixed period shall terminate upon expiration of such period without the employer having to perform any legal action. The employment relationship ends with a legal event - the expiration of time and does not apply §64 of the Labor Code - protection period, i. employment may also be terminated if the employee is incapable of work, if the employee is pregnant or has taken maternity leave or an employee on parental leave at that time.
• The Labor Code does not impose on the employer or employee the obligation to notify the employer whether or not to extend the employment relationship in advance. Technically, this is done in practice, for example, by giving one party a proposal to extend the contract to the other party with a time limit for expression, the expiry of which means that the other party is not interested in extending the employment relationship.
Termination of probationary and fixed-term employment is, in terms of zero severance costs, the best way for an employer to deal with the current situation if it is forced to reduce staff. If you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact VGD Legal s.r.o.
VGD Legal s.r.o.
JUDr. Lucia Kalabová
Disclaimer: The information provided to the Client is up to date as of 23.03.2020, it is for informational purposes only and does not replace any legal service pursuant to Act No. 586/2003 Coll. on Advocacy. VGD Legal s.r.o. does not assume liability for the completeness and accuracy of the information referred to in the paper. In case of questions about the information provided to the Client, the customer may ask VGD Legal s.r.o. for provision of legal services for this purpose.
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