The employer cannot, without the prior consent of the relevant organization, terminate the employment contracts of works council members or supervisory boards representing workers, workers’ representatives (including those on the council of an institution), or appointed or elected trade union representatives.
Other categories of protected workers include older workers, parents and disabled persons.
The employer may not terminate the employment contract of an older employee, who has reached the age of 58 or of an employee, who has less than five years until qualifying for an old-age pension due to a business reason without his written consent.
This protection does not apply if:
- the employee is assured a right to unemployment benefit until he fulfils the minimum conditions for receiving an old-age pension; or
- appropriate new employment is offered to the employee; or
- in the event the employee has already fulfilled the above conditions for protection against the termination of the employment contract when he concluded the respective contract, unless the contract was concluded according to item (ii); or
- proceedings have been initiated for terminating the business of the employer.
The employer is not allowed to terminate the employment contract of mothers during their pregnancy, while breastfeeding of children up to the age of one, or the contracts of parents during their parental leave in the form of full absence from work, and for one month thereafter. This notwithstanding, the written employment contract can be terminated with the prior consent of the labour inspectorate, if there are reasons for extraordinary termination of the employment contract, or if proceedings for terminating the employer’s business have been initiated.
The employer may terminate the employment contract of a disabled person:
- due to his incapacity to perform work subject to the conditions set out in the employment contract; or
- due to business-related reasons;
- but both are subject to the conditions set out in legislation governing pension and disability insurance or work rehabilitation, and the employment of disabled persons.
This does not apply if proceedings have been initiated for terminating the business of the employer.