Does the employer have to obtain the permission of or inform a third party (e.g local labour authorities or court) before being able to validly terminate the employment relationship? If yes, what are the sanctions for breach of this requirement?

Employment & Labour Law

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

There are no circumstances in which a failure to notify a third party will void the termination of employment.

An employer who proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees within a 90 day period must notify the Secretary of State of such planned redundancies using a prescribed form. Where 100 or more redundancies are proposed notification must be made at least 45 days before any notice to terminate employment is given. If 20 or more redundancies are proposed at least 30 days’ notice must be given. Failure to make the required notification is a criminal offence and a fine may be payable.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

No. However, consultation and notification requirements do exist in collective redundancy situations. Employees impacted by a collective redundancy must be consulted with 30 days prior to a termination taking effect and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation must also be informed (please see question 2 above). Employers are liable to a range of fines, depending on the breach for a failure to consult and notify. For example, in respect of a failure to notify the Minister, the employer may be liable to a maximum fine of €5,000.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

There is generally no requirement to obtain the permission of or to inform a third party before being able to validly terminate the employment relationship, unless the termination of the employment relationship is due to retrenchment, or a collective agreement requires the employer to notify and/or consult the trade union in advance. For more details concerning the termination of employment in retrenchment situations, please see our response to question 2.

United States Small Flag United States

Generally, unless the WARN Act or similar state statutes are implicated (see response to Question 2), an employer is not required to obtain the permission of or inform a third party before being able to validly terminate the employment relationship.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Only in case of collective layoff an information obligation with the Administrative Labour Authority exists (in this regard, please see answer to question 7).

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

According to Turkish Labour Law, the employer is not obliged to obtain permission from a third party or government authority to terminate the employment contract.

However, in the case of collective redundancy, the employer must notify and inform the trade union representatives, the regional directorate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Turkish Labour Authority 30 days prior to initiating a collective dismissal. The collective dismissal will become effective within one month following the notification made to the regional directorate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Colombia Small Flag Colombia

Except in case of mass lay-off, in principle, employers do not require to inform or obtain permission from any authority or third party to unilaterally terminate employment agreements. However, there are some employees that in application of Colombian Law and the Constitutional Court ruling have a special protection not to be dismissed without the existence of a just cause and without the prior authorization from the Ministry of Labor or a judicial decision, such as: pregnant employees, employees on maternity leave, employees who are couple of pregnant women who economically depend on them, employees on sick leave, handicap employees, employees being less than 3 years away to comply with the age requirement to obtain retirement pension, union board members, etc.

In case an employer terminates the employment agreement of an employee who is under a special protection (mentioned above), they could claim their reintegration to the job and the payment of the labor rights caused between the termination and the reintegration and in some cases, the payment of special indemnifications.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In principle, no permission or information of a third party is required for a valid termination of an employment.

The employer must inform the cantonal labour office about any intended mass redundancy, however. Notwithstanding the contractual and statutory provisions, employments terminated in the course of the respective mass redundancy may not end before the expiry of 30 days since such information to the cantonal labour office (see art. 335g of the Swiss Code of Obligations).

Japan Small Flag Japan

In principle, the employer does not need to obtain the permission of or inform a third party before terminating the employment relationship, unless required under an agreement with a third party such as a trade union (please see reply to Question 9).

When the termination of employment due to redundancy (including both dismissals and solicited resignations) of 30 or more employees is expected to occur within one month, the employer must create a support plan for re-employment, submit it to a local public job-placement office and obtain its approval at least one month before the first termination of employment occurs (Article 24, paragraph 1 of the Employment Measures Act) (‘EMA’).

Similarly, when the termination of employment for any reason (including both dismissals and solicited resignations) of 30 or more employees is expected to occur within one month, the employer must file a notification to a local public job-placement office at least one month before the first termination of employment occurs (Article 27, paragraph 1 of the EMA). If the reason for the termination is redundancy, and the employer submits a support plan for re-employment as required, then the employer would be deemed to have filed this notification.

Employers who fail to file a notification to the local public job-placement office are subject to a penalty of fine up to 300,000 yen (Article 40, paragraph 1, item 1 of the EMA).

Thailand Small Flag Thailand

No, except in the case that the employee whose employment is being terminated is a member of the Employee’s Committee of a labour union, in which case the Labour Court’s approval (as mentioned in paragraph 11 above) would be required. Failure to comply with the requirements under paragraph 12 would also result in the employer being liable to imprisonment not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding Baht 1,000, or to both.

India Small Flag India

Where the workmen category employees are engaged in an industrial establishment which is a factory, mine or plantation having 100 or more workmen in the preceding 12 months, the employer would be required to obtain prior permission of the government before proceeding with the termination. In any other case, the employer would need to give a post-facto intimation of termination of workmen to the government authority in the prescribed manner. The sanctions for the breach of these obligations would be same as those mentioned in our response to question 8 above.

Uruguay Small Flag Uruguay

There is no legal provision regarding the permission or information to a third party before validly terminating the employment relationship. The employee is the only one that needs to be noticed of the dismissal decision.

UAE Small Flag UAE

The employer of a national of the UAE must notify the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in the event that he intends to terminate the employment contract. He must notify the Ministry at least 30 days before such termination is due to take effect. The employer will be in breach if he has terminated the UAE national without cause, if he has hired a foreign employee to do a similar role or if he has failed to pay the employee what he was entitled to be paid.

If the employer has unlawfully dismissed such UAE national employee, the Ministry can block any new labour permits being issued to the employer until the matter is resolved by the courts.

When the services of a non-UAE national employee come to an end, the employer is responsible for complying with the procedures for terminating the employee’s Labour Permit and Residence Visa and repatriating the employee to his country of recruitment.

China Small Flag China

Yes, in some circumstances the employer has to inform or report to a third party. For example, when a redundancy occurs in a company the employer must explain to the trade union or the whole staff 30 days in advance, get their opinions and report the plan of redundancy to the local labour authority. Also, the employer shall inform of the trade union in advance when it intends to terminate any employment unilaterally. If the employer contravenes laws, regulations or the employment contract, the trade union can require the employer to rectify the errors. The employer must consider the opinions of the trade union and inform the trade union of the result.

If an employer fails to go through such procedures, the termination will be deemed as illegal and the employer should bear the relevant liabilities (see question 8).

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

According to Swedish law, no prior approval from a government agency is required when terminating employees. However, as stated in question 2 above, the employer is obligated to inform the ES when conducting redundancy terminations of five or more employees. If the employer fails to inform the ES it may be liable to pay a fine of up to SEK 500 per affected employee per commenced week.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

In general, the employer is not required to obtain permission of or inform the government agency before it terminates the employment relationship. However, the employer is obligated to report to the government agency if, during one month period, (i) 30 or more employees separate from the company with less than 300 employees or (ii) at least 10% employer separate from the company with 300 or more. The employer who fails to report pursuant to the law will be subject to an administrative fine up to KRW 3 million. Furthermore, a 30 days’ advance report to the Ministry of Employment and Labour must be made if during the 1 month period the employer intends to layoff based on urgent business necessity (i) 10 or more of employees at the company with 99 employees or less, (ii) at least 10% of employees at the company with 100 or more but 999 or less, or (iii) at least 100 employees at the company with 1,000 employees or more.

France Small Flag France

The labour inspector’s authorization is required to terminate the employment of protected employees, e.g., current elected or appointed employee representatives, former representatives (who remain protected over a period of 6 or 12 months depending on the nature of their mandate) and candidates to staff elections. Failure to request said authorization, or annulment of said authorization by a court, results in an obligation to reinstate the dismissed employee or, if the employee waives reinstatement, payment of damages up until the end of protection within the limit of 30 months.

Austria Small Flag Austria

When terminating the employment relationship with protected employees, special procedures have to be observed. Dismissal of a protected member of the workforce typically requires prior consent from a court. The dismissal of a registered disabled person is only valid provided the employer obtains a prior consent from the Disability Employees Committee chaired by the Federal Office for Social Affairs and Disabled Persons. When breaching this requirement, dismissal is null and void and the employer could be facing legal consequences, company reputation, reduced productivity, penalties, discrimination complaints and/or lawsuits.

Canada Small Flag Canada

The employer does not, in general, have to obtain the permission of or inform a third party before being able to validly terminate the employment relationship.

However, in all jurisdictions except Prince Edward Island, there are specific notice provisions under the relevant employment standards legislation that apply to ‘mass’ or ‘group’ terminations (see Question 2). Pursuant to these provisions, notice to the applicable Ministry of Labour of an upcoming mass termination is often required. Failure to do so may invalidate notice given to employees and/or result in fines or penalties, as specified in applicable labour standards legislation. Also, a collective agreement may contain requirements concerning notification to the union or certain union officials.

Belgium Small Flag Belgium

No, not as a rule, except in case of (i) collective dismissal (see question 2) or (ii) termination of specific protected workers (e.g. members of the works council).

Italy Small Flag Italy

Apart from the procedures above mentioned and related to individual or collective redundancy (according to which the employer must inform/deal with the Labour Office at local/regional/central level depending on the case), in general the employer is not required to obtain the permission or inform any third party when terminating an employee. However, some NCBAs (e.g. those for metal engineering companies) specify that works council members can only be dismissed with the prior consent of the union(s) to which they belong. The sanction is case of breach is the reinstatement of the employee and the payment of damages.

Employers are not required to inform or get the authorisation of any labour authorities when dismissing for severe misconduct or poor performance.

Luxembourg Small Flag Luxembourg

There is no legal requirement to obtain a prior permission before being able to validly terminate the employment relationship.

However, any employer employing at least 15 persons, must notify the Comité de Conjoncture (division within the Ministry of Economy in charge of supervising the implementation of prevention measures introduced into Luxembourg law in 2006) of any termination/redundancy taking place for any grounds not linked to the employee’s aptitude or attitude (i.e. for economic reasons). Such notification must be carried out at the latest when the employee is notified of the termination. There is no sanction attached to a breach of this obligation. The purpose of such notification is to give a right of review to the Comité de Conjoncture, which may take the initiative to invite certain employers to negotiate an employment safeguarding plan instead of a social plan in certain circumstances.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Generally, the employer does not need to obtain permission by a third party. However, if a person falls under maternity protection or is taking parental leave they can only be dismissed if the competent state authority agrees. Also, with respect to persons with disabilities dismissals require the prior consent of the competent authority.

Moreover, the Employment Agency needs to be notified before a mass layoff (c.f answer to question 2).

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

The FLL provides as a general principle of Mexican labour law, the prohibition of acts of discrimination and labour and sexual harassment. These acts are also considered grounds for terminating an employee with cause if the employee engages in this type of conduct. Finally, in the catalogue of employer prohibitions, any act of discrimination or labour or sexual harassment is expressly forbidden.

In the event of an act of discrimination or labour or sexual harassment, an employee can bring an action against the employer, terminating the employment relationship with cause, and claiming the payment of severance plus accrued back pay through the end of the trial. There is no special severance, compensation or damages available in Mexican labour court for an employee claiming an act of discrimination or labour or sexual harassment. Because the employee would have to terminate the employment relationship with the employer with cause based on said grounds, the severance available is the same as for any other action for wrongful termination or unjustified dismissal.

Finland Small Flag Finland


Updated: June 12, 2017