1. I am about to change jobs. How can I find out my term of notice?
The term of notice is often stated in the employment contract. If the employment contract has no mention of it, the term of notice is determined by the collective agreement or ultimately by the Employment Contracts Act. You should therefore first see what your employment contract says about your term of notice.
2. How is the term of notice calculated?
The term of notice starts on the day following the day on which notice was given. A term of notice given in weeks or months ends on the day with the same name or number as the day on which notice was given. If there is no corresponding day in the month in which the term of notice ends, the term of notice is deemed to end on the last day of the month. For instance, if your employment contract is terminated on 1 September and your term of notice is one month, your employment will end on 1 October. If your term of notice is 14 days, your employment will end on 15 September.
3. I am about to change jobs and I do not have the time to use up all my holidays before my employment ends. Does the employer have to pay me a holiday bonus?
The law does not provide for a holiday bonus, but the right to a holiday bonus is based on the collective agreement or the employment contract. A holiday bonus is usually paid if you have taken your annual holiday. If you have not taken your annual holiday and you receive a holiday compensation at the end of your employment, the employer is not usually obligated to pay a holiday bonus on top of the holiday compensation. However, you should see what your collective agreement or employment contract says about this.
4. My employment contract contains a non-competition clause. Can I still work for a competitor?
In principle, a non-competition clause in an employment contract is binding on the employee if the clause has been lawfully agreed upon. According to the Employment Contracts Act, there must be a particularly weighty reason for a non-competition clause, usually related to the employee’s duties and position. For example, working in product development or research or the employer’s need to protect trade secrets may justify a non-competition clause. In addition, the period of non-competition may last for no more than six months if no compensation for this period is paid. A longer period of non-competition can be agreed upon for top business executives, for example.
5. The employer has suggested terminating the employment contract by mutual agreement. What should I do?
An employment contract can be terminated by mutual agreement, but this is always voluntary. You should carefully consider the termination agreement, because it will affect your unemployment security and your pensions, among other things. You should ask your employer for a draft agreement and at least a few days to consider your decision.
6. I received a notice of termination. My employment contract will be terminated on financial and production-related grounds. Is this termination illegal?
The employer may terminate a permanent employment contract on financial and production-related grounds provided that the work has diminished substantially and permanently. The termination may be illegal for instance in cases where the employer has hired a new employee for similar duties either before or after the termination.
7. My regular working hours are 37.5 hours per week and I do not work in a managerial position. According to my employment contract, my employment does not comply with the Working Hours Act. Is this appropriate?
The scope of application of the Working Hours Act is determined by the Working Hours Act and cannot be lawfully derogated from to the disadvantage of the employee. The employment contract cannot lawfully determine that the Working Hours Act shall not apply to a person belonging to the scope of the Working Hours Act. The Working Hours Act applies, in principle, to all employees in the private and public sector and to public servants, with the exception of the derogations stated in the Working Hours Act. For example, the top executives in companies are often excluded from the scope of the Working Hours Act based on the Working Hours Act. Individuals who have so-called working hours autonomy and who can factually decide on the distribution of their working hours and their daily and weekly hours themselves may also be excluded from the scope of the Working Hours Act.
8. I have signed a new employment contract and will start working in two months. I have now received a job offer from another employer and would like to accept it. What do I do?
You can terminate an employment contract already before you start working. If the term of notice of the signed employment contract is no more than two months, you have time to terminate the agreement before you start working. If the term of notice is longer and does not end until after the day you should start working, the employer is obligated to pay salary and the employee is obligated to work during the excess period. If this is the case, you can discuss with the employer whether you could terminate the employment contract sooner to avoid such a short period of employment. You should keep in mind that you cannot terminate an employment contract on the basis of a trial period before you start working.