Termination for poor performance

The Labour Code does not recognise the concept of an incapable employee and today it does not recognise the concept of work (indis)discipline either. Nevertheless, it is possible to get rid of employees for unsatisfactory work results.

Zaměstnanec je káraný od šéfa u svého pracovního stolu
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However, such dismissal must always be done correctly, as we know from our experience that carelessness on the part of the employer when dismissing employees can boomerang back on the employer and can also be very costly.

As we have stated on our blog, the employee has it much easier than the employer when it comes to dismissal. They don’t have to justify their resignation in any way. On the contrary, the employer must always give a clear reason. Especially if the termination is for some misconduct on the part of the employee. The objective reasons must be written down and communicated to the employee in great detail and unmistakably, otherwise the employee could quite easily defend the dismissal in court.

Who determines what results are okay?

In order for an employer to be able to reproach an employee for unsatisfactory performance, let alone terminate his employment for that reason, the cause must not be the employer itself. For example, in a situation where the employer failed to supply the necessary machinery, failed to train the employee or objectively determined the task to be impossible.

TheSupreme Court also concluded some time ago that the way in which the employer itself subjectively assesses the employee’s performance is not determinative of the court’s decision. It may well happen that the competent court will take a different view than the employer, that it will consider other circumstances (including those which the employer failed or refused to consider) and will find in favour of the employee that the unsatisfactory performance was not due to the employee and that there is no reason for termination. The employee’s incapacity must be repeated, not just exceptional.

In general, however, there may be unsatisfactory results of various types. Whether it is the employee’s failure to meet predetermined standards (translating one text per day) or rather a vaguely defined ability to manage subordinates, resulting in unsatisfactory results for the whole team.

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? This is the subject of our next article.

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.

Bad results must first be blamed

Therefore, termination of employment for unsatisfactory performance cannot be used immediately by the employer. It must first give the employee with unsatisfactory performance a chance to remedy it in writing.

It follows from the law that an essential part of this written ‘reprimand’ is the setting of a reasonable period of time within which the employee’s unsatisfactory performance must be remedied. Only if the employee fails to improve in the long term can the employer proceed to terminate the employment relationship.

What are the requirements for a reprimand? The letter of reprimand should contain a brief description of what the employer sees as the employee’s unsatisfactory performance and, if not entirely obvious from the nature of the work itself, how it should be remedied. A warning before termination is not mandatory, but is still appropriate.

The letter of reprimand must be delivered by hand. As we have mentioned, it does not necessarily have to contain an explicit warning that it could all end in dismissal, unlike a letter of reprimand sent by an employer to an employee when it wants to terminate his employment for persistent minor breaches of work discipline.

A time limit must also be observed. The employer must serve the notice on the employee within the last twelve months of receiving the written reprimand. Thus, there must be no more than one year between the time when the written notice is served on the employee and the time when the notice is served.

What if I no longer meet the requirements for the job?

A slightly different reason for termination is termination for failure to meet the employee’s job requirements. This is for example a situation where the employee (driver) loses his driving licence and is therefore of no use to the employer. However, there may also be other requirements, such as language skills. The prerequisites that an employee must meet in order to perform a certain type of work are usually laid down by law or other generally binding regulations or internal regulations of the employer. However, the employer must always give the employee the opportunity to complete the requirements.

Tip: Have you been offered a job that will advance you financially and professionally? Have you found a job around the corner from where you live where you won’t have to commute an hour every day? Or are you just not getting along with your current boss anymore? All of these are valid reasons to quit. How do you go about getting everything done properly and without stress? That’s what we look at in our separate article.

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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.

  • 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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