According to the Employment Contracts Act, an employer is obliged to re-employ an employee on certain preconditions. If an employee has been made redundant on financial and/or production-related grounds, or in conjunction with business restructuring proceedings, the employer is obliged to offer work to those made redundant on the said grounds in a situation in which the employer needs new employees within four months of the termination of the employment relationship for the same or similar work that the employee given notice had been doing. However, if the employment relationship has lasted without interruption for at least 12 years prior to its termination, the re-employment period shall be six months.

If the company has laid off employees in addition to those made redundant, new work shall first be offered to those laid off. The obligation to offer additional work to the company’s part-time employees also supersedes the re-employment obligation.

The re-employment obligation only concerns those made redundant on the above-mentioned grounds who continue to seek work via an Employment and Economic Development Office. The employee need not be an unemployed job-seeker, it is enough to seek work via an Employment and Economic Development Office. If the job-seeker is employed elsewhere, the employer is not obliged to wait for his/her release, if the vacancy needs to be filled quickly. If the employee declines the offered work without a justified reason, he/she need not be offered similar work again. If there are more than one employees made redundant as job-seekers, the employer is entitled to choose to whom the work is first offered. In this situation, discriminatory selection criteria may not be used.

The re-employment obligation also concerns an assignee of a business if the assignor has given notice on an employee’s employment contract to end before the date of assignment. The assignee shall ask from the local Employment and Economic Development Office whether the employee made redundant is a job-seeker there.

No re-employment obligation exists e.g. in the following situations:

  • the employment relationship has ended on grounds related to the employee’s person
  • in case of cancellation of an employment relationship
  • the employee has given a notice of termination
  • a fixed-term employment relationship has ended
  • the employment relationship has been terminated on grounds of the employer’s death or bankruptcy
  • an open vacancy is filled through internal transfers
  • the employer begins to use temporary agency work or subcontracting
  • an unpaid trainee is used for the job

Re-employment constitutes the beginning of a new employment relationship, and a new employment contract will be made on the employment relationship. The terms shall meet the minimum requirements of the law and collective agreements.

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