How to act
If you want to summarily dismiss an employee, it is important to follow the following procedure. First, it is advisable to send your employee a formal letter (by registered mail), to inform the employee that you are summarily dismissing him/her, stating the reasons why. This will prevent any ambiguity. After all, you can prove that you have sent the letter, and the employee – especially in the case of registered mail – cannot argue that the letter was not received.
In addition, if the urgent reason for dismissal is based on intent or misconduct of the employee, you are entitled to claim damages from him or her. This compensation is at most the salary you would have paid if you had taken the notice period into account.
Finally, you can request the dismissal from the subdistrict court. This serves as a final step to avoid any legal action by the employee, in which the subdistrict court could judge that there is no urgent cause, with the outcome that you would be required to continue paying the employee’s wages.
If the employee disagrees with the summary dismissal, he or she must take legal action within two months. If in such proceedings an employee is found to be in the right and the summary dismissal is found to be invalid, the notice of dismissal will be annulled and the employee will be able to request salary payment for the entire period between the summary dismissal and the ruling. Because the legal procedure and getting it started often does take some time, the claim for payment of wages can add up considerably. To minimise this risk somewhat, it is always advisable to submit a conditional rescission request in such a situation. If the judge is of the opinion that the summary dismissal is not legally valid, he will accede to this request. However, in that case there is a good chance that the judge will award the employee a substantial, fair compensation. Incidentally, the employee may also choose not to request annulment of the dismissal, but to ask the court to award fair compensation. If you are dealing with a potential summary dismissal, it would be advisable to contact one of our specialists to minimise the aforementioned risks.