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The letter of termination: Tips for employers
The employment relationship is terminated by a notice of termination. Termination is therefore always unilateral. This distinguishes it from a termination or amendment agreement. This is always concluded by mutual agreement. But what to look out for? Here are 6 tips for termination by the employer:
1. For employers, the best way is the termination agreement
From the employer's point of view, the legally secure way to terminate the employment relationship is to conclude a termination agreement. Because then there are no delivery problems and the notice periods can be circumvented as well as the protection against dismissal.
2. Always give notice in the alternative
From the employer's point of view, it is also recommended to always give notice of termination "in the alternative at the next possible date". This makes it clear that the employment relationship should come to an end in any case, even if the notice period was calculated incorrectly by mistake. You can also find a suitable formulation in our samples for notices of termination.
3. Information obligations of the employer
The employer also has extensive duties to provide information. For example, the employer must inform the employee that the employee is obligated to personally register for unemployment with the Federal Employment Agency immediately upon receipt of the notice of termination.
4. Does the protection against dismissal apply?
In addition to the issue of the notice period, the employer must check whether the Dismissal Protection Act applies. If this is the case, the employee can attack the termination and file an action for protection against dismissal. This can then lead to the payment of a severance package/continuation of employment or to the payment of wages for default of acceptance if the labor court considers the termination to be unlawful. This does not apply then as a rule, provided that the law on protection against dismissal does not apply.
5. Does the special protection against dismissal apply??
Irrespective of this, it must be checked whether there is any special protection against dismissal. This is the case, for example, with severely disabled employees, pregnant women or works council members. Then the approval of the authority must be obtained in advance.
6. Ensure proper service
As an employer, you should make absolutely sure that the notice of termination is delivered to the employee in a formally correct manner. Of course, the best way is to hand over the notice of termination to the employee with simultaneous confirmation of receipt by the employee. If the employee refuses to confirm receipt, a witness should be called in. If the employee is not present in person, it is best to deliver the notice by messenger. We recommend that the messenger then makes a short film with his smartphone and documents the moment he drops the notice in the mailbox. As a last resort, the notice of termination can also be delivered by registered mail. In this case, however, please always choose a registered letter, as the employee will then not be able to defend himself against the receipt of the notice.