Termination of employment on personal grounds
Whether or not objective grounds exist depends on the employee’s continued suitability as an employee after the event. Things the assessment needs to take into account include the duties, the position of trust and the responsibilities of the position. The higher the position of the employee, the higher the standards the employer can require the employee to meet.
The employee must have been given the opportunity to change the behaviour that the employer does not consider to be in line with the requirements of the workplace. It is therefore important to have a conversation with the employee and explain that continued misconduct may lead to termination of employment. Document what you said in the conversation. If the employee still repeats the behaviour, there may be grounds for termination of their employment.
The cause, or one of the causes, of the termination of employment must have occurred within the past two months.
Before terminating an employee’s employment on personal grounds, the employer needs to examine the possibility of redeploying the employee in another position. More about redeployment can be found on the page on Termination of employment – rights and obligations.
The employer’s obligations
Two weeks before the employer can terminate an employee’s employment on personal grounds, the employee needs to be informed. If they are affiliated to a trade union, the employer must also:
- give at least two weeks’ notice to the union concerned
- respect the employee’s and the union’s right to consult with the employer, if requested within one week of their being informed and given notice
- wait for any consultation to take place before concluding the termination of employment
In the event of termination of employment on personal grounds or due to shortage of work/redundancy, the employee has a notice period before the termination of their employment. The length of the employee’s notice period depends on the length of their employment. The length is specified in the Swedish Employment Protection Act (LAS) or in the collective agreement covering the employee.
Summary dismissal is a serious measure that has major consequences for both the employer and the employee, in part because it means that employment is terminated with immediate effect, without any notice period.
For summary dismissal to be possible, the employee must have committed a serious breach of their obligations to the employer.
What constitutes grounds for summary dismissal can be difficult to determine. The considerations are the same as for “‘personal grounds’ grounds” in general but are of a more serious nature. These may include repeated refusal to work, gross misconduct, gross disloyalty, repeated or prolonged absences without valid reason and offences against the employer or committed in the workplace. The cause, or one of the causes, of the dismissal must have occurred within the past two months.
The employer does not normally have to try to redeploy the employee before dismissing them.
The employer’s obligations
The employer must:
- inform the employee at least one week in advance
- give notice at least one week in advance to the employee’s trade union, if they are a member of one
- put the dismissal on hold if the employee or trade union requests a consultation within one
- week of being informed and given notice
- deliver a written notice of dismissal to the employee at the end of the consultation
state in writing the reasons for the dismissal if the employee or their trade union so requests.
The summary dismissal takes place when the employee receives the written notice. If the notice is sent as a registered letter, the dismissal is deemed to have taken place when the employee receives it, or at the latest ten days after the letter was sent. If the employee is on holiday, the dismissal is deemed to have taken place no earlier than the day after their return from holiday.
Get help ahead of termination of employment with notice or summary dismissal
Both termination of employment with notice on personal grounds and summary dismissal are measures that can involve difficult judgements and have major consequences. Contact your employers’ organisation or another legal adviser for help and support with decisions and assessments.