Invalid notice from the employer

Have you been terminated from your employment? How can I be sure that the notice given is valid and fully compliant with the law? Or, conversely, that the notice you have received meets all the requirements?

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Notice in writing only

Notice of termination of employment, whether given by the employer or the employee, must always be in writing. If the employer verbally says goodbye to you, either in person or over the phone, such a notice will be invalid and will not result in the termination of the employment relationship. The employee will continue to come to work and the employer cannot invoke such notice in any way. In some cases, it will not even be possible to send notice by email. If the employee agrees, it will also be possible to terminate the contract electronically if the notice is sent to the employee’s private email.

If the employer has already complied with the requirement to give notice in writing, it must also deliver it properly to the employee. The employee must receive it “in his or her own hands”, either at the workplace or at home. You can also receive the notice by post, including electronically (subject to the above conditions). If you refuse to accept it, it is still deemed to have been served.

Definition of the reason for giving notice

An employer can only give notice to an employee for the reasons set out in the Labour Code. These are, for example, organisational reasons, where the employer is relocating or even ceasing to operate. However, it may also be due to the employee’s medical incapacity to perform the work.

Often, employers justify termination on the grounds of poor performance and breaches of the employee’s duties. If the reason for the dismissal is not given, or if it is a reason that has not actually been met, the dismissal will be invalid. Thus, for example, in the case of dismissal for breach of work duties, the employee may defend himself by claiming that he did not breach his duty.

If you are on probation, the employer does not have to give any reason for the termination.

I have given notice from my job

When you quit your job, we can help you defend yourself against your employer’s actions and make sure you get everything you’re entitled to from them. This includes, for example, any wages or severance pay you are owed. We provide assistance throughout the country and at a predetermined price.

Tip: There are not many options when an employee can be given notice by the employer. One of the options is termination for organisational reasons. What if your employer lays you off, ostensibly abolishes your job and then creates and re-fills it?

When it is not possible to give notice

In certain cases, an employer cannot give notice at all. Typically, this will be the case if the employee is on sick leave. It is then not possible to give notice to female employees when they are pregnant or on maternity leave. However, these restrictions do not apply to probationary notice. The employer may not terminate the employment relationship during the probationary period only during the first 14 days of incapacity for work; the Labour Code does not provide for any other restrictions. Therefore, an employer may also terminate the employment relationship with a pregnant employee during the probationary period or with an employee on sick leave after 14 days.

Notice period

The Labour Code stipulates that the notice period must be the same for both the employer and the employee and must be at least two months. However, you can agree a longer notice period in your employment contract. The employer can only extend the notice period already running by written agreement with the employee. If the employer or employee wants to end the employment relationship earlier, it will be necessary to conclude a termination agreement, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a termination by agreement. However, it is important to distinguish between agreement and termination, as they are two different legal insitutions with different consequences.

How to defend an invalid notice

If an employee has received a notice from his employer which he considers invalid, he must actively defend himself. First of all, he must notify the employer in writing that he insists on continuing to employ him. If he fails to do so, the employment relationship will end on expiry of the notice period, even if the notice is actually invalid.

It is possible that, on the basis of this notification, the employer will reconsider its position and accept that the notice is indeed invalid. The employment relationship would then continue as before the notice was given. Otherwise, an action must be brought before a court to declare that the dismissal is invalid within two months of the date on which the employment relationship should have ended. The time limit is relatively short, so the employee must not delay in bringing the action.

If the court were to find in favour of the employee, the employee would be entitled to wage compensation until the court decides that the dismissal is invalid. This may ultimately mean compensation for many months of wages and hundreds of thousands of crowns.

It is at this point that one of the important differences between termination of employment and termination by agreement may arise. If the employment relationship is terminated by agreement, it is not possible to subsequently argue that the termination is invalid. This is because it is assumed that the agreement to terminate the employment relationship was concluded on the basis of the will of both parties and therefore the possibilities of challenging it subsequently are very limited.

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I have given notice from my job

When you quit your job, we can help you defend yourself against your employer’s actions and make sure you get everything you’re entitled to from them. This includes, for example, any wages or severance pay you are owed. We provide assistance throughout the country and at a predetermined price.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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