Law Firm ALTERNA’s partner and attorney-at-law Annika Vait wrote in her May legal blog posting about the form of the warning preceding the cancellation of employment contract.

Employment Contracts Act Section 88(3) provides that an employer may cancel an employment contract due to a breach of an employee’s obligation or decrease in his or her capacity for work, if the cancellation is preceded by a warning given by the employer. Prior warning is not a prerequisite for cancellation if the employee cannot expect it from the employer due to particular severity of the breach of the obligation or for another reason pursuant to the principle of good faith.

However, the employment contracts act does not specify, what the formal requirements must the warning that precedes the cancellation of the employment contract correspond to. Therefore, in practise the employers often face the questions, which form shall the employee be warned, so that it would meet the requirements?

According to Annika, the response to this question can be found in the general part of civil code act, Section 77.  According to that provision a transaction may be entered into in any format unless a mandatory format of the transaction is provided by law. Therefore, since the law does not prescribe a mandatory form for the warning, then the employee may be warned in any form: either orally, written or format which can be reproduced in writing (including text message or e-mail). These principles have been confirmed by the Supreme court in case No 3-2-1-187-15. 

Despite that the law does not prescribe a mandatory form for the warning, it is advisable to make the warning always in a manner, where in case of a dispute the warning’s content could be proved – what was the content of the warning and that the employee has received the warning. In practise, one of the safest measures is to submit the warning on paper and receive the employee’s signature that he/she has received the specific warning document.

You can read the blog entry here and

For all questions relating to the posting, you may turn to Annika or calling the phone number 680 6850