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Reasons for dismissal

Verified 06 April 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

An employer who wishes to break an employee's employment contract must show cause for dismissal. This motive must be based on a real and serious cause. However, certain grounds are prohibited by law. The employee may contest his dismissal by referring to the labor board.

Dismissal for personal reasons is a dismissal based on the employee's behavior or actions. That is:

  • for disciplinary reasons (in the case of fault employee for example),
  • for non-disciplinary reasons (for example, in the event of insufficient results).

Whatever the reason, the employer must respect the dismissal procedure..

The real and serious cause of the reason for dismissal is established if it meets the following 3 criteria:

  • It is based on actual facts (e.g. absence of an employee from his undertaking without good reason)
  • She is accurate and verifiable (e.g. absence of the employee from his company from 12 to 25 April)
  • She is sufficiently large to justify the breach of the employment contract (for example, disruption of the operation of the undertaking)

If the employee considers that his dismissal is without real and serious cause, he can challenge it by seizing prud'homme council.. The judge may order the employer to impose sanctions wrongful dismissal..

Certain facts cannot constitute real and serious grounds for dismissal. In this case, the dismissal may be annulled by the judge.

Termination for personal reasons shall be canceled in the following cases:

  • The employee was dismissed in violation of a fundamental freedom (freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of religion, right of withdrawal of employee)
  • Failure to respect maternity or paternity protection
  • Termination discriminatory or in connection with acts of harassment moral or sexual
  • Dismissal following legal action by the employee
  • Dismissal following legal action in connection with the reporting of crimes and offenses (whistleblower)
  • Dismissal in connection with the normal exercise of the right to strike
  • Non-compliance with the protection granted to certain employees (member of the CSE for example
  • Termination of employment in connection with the performance of the duties of a juror or citizen assessor
  • Dismissal in connection with the denial of a geographical transfer to a State criminalizing homosexuality on the basis of its sexual orientation.

In 15 days following the information of the dismissal, the employee may ask the employer for details of the reasons set out in the letter.

The employee makes his request by registered letter with notice of reception (LRAR) or delivery against receipt.

The employer shall have a 15 days after receiving the employee's request to provide details if he wishes. He shall communicate these details to the employee by LRAR or discount against receipt.

An employee wishing to contest the grounds for his dismissal may refer the matter to the prud'homme council..