Blog » FIRING AN EMPLOYEE DURING NOTICE PERIOD IN HUNGARY
FIRING AN EMPLOYEE DURING NOTICE PERIOD IN HUNGARY
03 February 2021
Termination of employment is a sensitive area and the process is not always smooth. It can happen in an escalated situation that both parties give notice of termination or a party later changes its previous declaration. The employer must also be prepared for such situations, as it is not uncommon for an employee to take legal action after a poorly coordinated dismissal, in which case the final farewell takes place in a courtroom.
1. The situations examined
In our article, we analyse situations where, after notice of termination, the employment relationship ultimately does not terminate according to the notice that started the process. In this regard, the following questions may arise:
- Can the notice of termination be withdrawn?
- Is it possible to terminate the employment by mutual consent during the period of notice?
- Is it possible to communicate immediate termination during the period of notice?
2. Can the notice of termination be withdrawn?
Termination with notice is a unilateral declaration, which takes effect immediately upon delivery to the addressee, thus there is no need for the “consent” of the other party.
A party may unilaterally withdraw the notice of termination until it has been notified to the addressee, so before the notice given in the letter is served, the initiating party may withdraw his/her declaration by email or in person.
After notification to the addressee, the notice of termination may be modified or revoked only with the consent of the addressee, therefore notification of termination must be carefully considered in all cases.
The question arises as to whether it is possible to revoke immediate termination, given that in such a case the employment ends at the time of the communication of the declaration. Both judicial practice and the legal literature confirm that termination without notice can also be revoked, after the communication, the consent of the addressee is required here as well.
3. Is it possible to terminate the employment by mutual consent during the period of notice?
Termination of employment by mutual consent can be beneficial to both parties, however, due to lack of legal knowledge or their subordinate role, employees rarely initiate this method of termination instead of termination with notice.
Notice of termination by one of the parties does not prevent the parties from reaching a mutual agreement during the period of notice, as a result of which, the employment relationship will terminate by mutual agreement at the time specified by the parties.
In the mutual agreement, the parties usually set an earlier date for the termination than the end of the period of notice in connection with the previously announced termination, therefore, the employment relationship is already terminated by mutual agreement by which time the ordinary notice would terminate it at the end of the notice period. For this reason, it is not necessary to withdraw the previously announced ordinary termination in the mutual agreement.
4. Is it possible to communicate immediate termination during the period of notice?
It is not uncommon for any party to communicate immediate termination during the period of notice after one of the parties previously communicated termination with notice. This usually happens when the employee feels that he will be soon dismissed by the employer, so he or she resigns first. In addition, it is also common for an employee to refuse work during his or her period of notice, which justifies immediate termination by the employer.
As the employment relationship exists until the end of the notice period, there is no obstacle to either party to (also) communicate immediate termination during this period.
The Supreme Court pointed out that an employment relationship may be terminated only by one declaration, which will be the immediate termination terminating the employment with immediate effect. As the employment is terminated by the immediate termination, the declaration about the ordinary termination can no longer cause the same legal effect (ie. the termination).
However, if the court finds that the immediate dismissal was unlawful, the employee may claim a loss of income only for the period until the end of the period of notice in connection with the ordinary termination instead of the 12 months limit set forth in the LC, given that the employee claims compensation according to the “general” rules of compensation.
Under the rules of labor law, the notice of termination given may be revoked or amended, but this requires the consent of the other party. The parties may also decide during the period of notice to terminate the employment relationship by mutual agreement. If, during the period of notice, the employee fails to fulfill his/her obligations, the employer may close the relationship with immediate effect on the same day. Lawful termination of an employment relationship requires thorough legal knowledge on the part of the employer, so we recommend involving a lawyer experienced in employment law in these processes.
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