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In "civil" employment contracts, termination is always the last resort and can be declared by both the employer and the employee. However, it is tied to certain conditions in order to be legally effective.

In the case of employment contracts, a distinction is made between ordinary and extraordinary termination:

Ordinary termination:

Ordinary termination must be declared in writing and certain statutory or collectively agreed notice periods must be observed. The employment contract is automatically terminated when the notice period expires.

If the termination is given by the employer, further requirements must be met. Does the employer employ more than 10 employees this is how the regulations of the Dismissal Protection Act apply. In this case, on the one hand, if available, the works council must be heard before the dismissal is discussed. In this case, the works council must notify the employer of its concerns in writing within a period of one week. If this period expires without a reaction from the works council, approval is deemed to have been given. On the other hand, the employer can only terminate the contract for behavioral, personal or operational reasons.

The behavior-related termination can be issued if the employee's behavior violates contractual obligations, but is not serious enough for an extraordinary termination. Usually, this misconduct must have been warned several times beforehand.

A personal termination is justified if the employee is no longer able to meet the requirements of the job. This is often the case if, due to a long or serious illness, he can no longer be employed in the old job and there is no other suitable option available for him.

If there are urgent operational requirements, such as economic crises, sales collapses, seasonal lulls, etc., an employer can also terminate the contract for operational reasons. He has to consider a selection based on social criteria (social selection).

During the probationary period, the employee may be dismissed without stating any further reasons and with a notice period of at least two weeks.

Extraordinary termination

Extraordinary termination is the termination of the employment relationship without observing the statutory notice period. This is why it is usually also referred to as "termination without notice".

A sufficient and particularly important reason for termination is required for extraordinary termination. In this case, it must also be unreasonable for the employer to continue to employ the employee until the next ordinary termination opportunity, taking into account the interests of both parties. An important reason exists, for example, if an employee commits a criminal act, fraudulent expenses, a serious insult to the employer, unfounded refusal to work, theft or sexual harassment.

If available, the works council must also be heard in this case before the extraordinary dismissal is issued to the employee concerned. If the works council has concerns about the termination, the reasons for this must be given within a period of 3 days be communicated to the employer in writing.

In addition, the employer must give notice of termination in a timely manner, i.e. within two weeks after taking note of the reason for termination. In many cases it is only effective if a warning has been issued beforehand.

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