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Home Work life guide page Employer’s re-employment obligation

Employer’s re-employment obligation

Under the Employment Contracts Act, employers are obliged to re-employ employees under certain conditions. If an employee is dismissed for financial and/or production-related reasons or in connection with corporate restructuring proceedings, the employer is obliged to offer work to that employee if the employer needs new employees for the same or similar work within four months of the end of the employment relationship. If an employment relationship lasted at least 12 years before it ended, the employer’s re-employment obligation lasts six months.

If the company has laid off employees in addition to dismissing them, the new work should be offered to the laid-off employees first. The obligation to offer additional work to the company’s part-time employees also takes precedence over the re-employment obligation.

The re-employment obligation only applies to employees who were dismissed for the reasons given above and are still registered as jobseekers at the TE Office. The employee does not need to be an unemployed jobseeker; they are only required to seek work through the TE Office. If a jobseeker is in other employment, the employer is not obliged to wait until the jobseeker becomes available if the vacancy needs to be filled quickly. If an employee refuses an offer of work without an acceptable reason, it is not necessary to offer them similar work in the future. If several dismissed employees are seeking employment, the employer may decide whom to offer the work to first. Discriminatory criteria must not be used in such a situation.

If the business is sold after an employee’s employment contract ends, the re-employment obligation also applies to the new owner. The new owner must ask the local TE Office whether a dismissed employee is a jobseeker.

The following are examples of situations in which there is no re-employment obligation:

  • The employment relationship ends on grounds related to the employee’s person
  • The employment relationship is cancelled
  • The employee resigns
  • A fixed-term employment relationship ends
  • The employment relationship is terminated due to the death or bankruptcy of the employer
  • A vacancy is filled by transferring an employee internally
  • The employer begins using an agency worker or subcontractor
  • An unpaid intern is used for the position

Re-employment marks the start of a new employment relationship, so a new employment contract must be signed. The terms and conditions must meet the minimum requirements of the law and collective agreements.

Education tips on the topic

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Termination on financial and production-related grounds and re-employment