Job liquidation - what does it involve?


Termination of an employment contract with an employee, which was concluded for an indefinite period, requires presenting the employee with the reasons for the dismissal. They should be formulated in writing, in an understandable, specific and truthful manner, no later than on the day of giving the notice of termination of the contract. A frequent cause of termination of an employment contract for an indefinite period is the liquidation of a job.

Liquidation of the workplace - proper course

Organizational changes in the enterprise may require a reduction in the number of jobs, which results in the liquidation of jobs. Changes carried out by the enterprise, e.g. in a short period of time, justifying the liquidation of a job, should be so advanced that they will not be questioned. This is due to the elimination of situations in which an employee would receive a notice of termination justified by the liquidation of the job, and another person would be employed in that position.

According to the judgment of the Supreme Court, ref. No. No. I PKN 176/97, issued on May 23, 1997 "liquidation of a job position as part of actual organizational changes, consisting in a reduction in employment, justifies the termination of an employee's employment contract".

It is important that the reorganization changes introduced in the company coincide with the dismissal of the employee. Dismissal of an employee long before and after the changes are introduced is groundless. The liquidation of a job position is a long-term process, so the date of its actual liquidation does not have to coincide with the date of termination of the employment contract. However, one should remember about the cause-and-effect relationship between them.

Apparent liquidation of the workplace

There are also situations in which the liquidation of an employee's position is used as an apparent reason for the termination of an employment contract. The appearance is manifested in the creation of a new job that does not differ much from the liquidated one. The scope of duties largely coincides with the scope of duties of the person dismissed due to liquidation of the workplace. If the content of the employment contract and the scope of duties coincide, this gives employees a chance to prove their unjustified dismissal in court.

Seemingly also manifests itself in shifting the duties of the dismissed person to other employed persons or persons employed under an employment contract, specific task or order.

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The apparent liquidation of the workplace and the consequences

There is a conviction among entrepreneurs that the dismissed employee will not be able to prove to the court the apparent nature of the liquidation of the job, because after leaving, he will not be able to check what the company's structures look like. The court examining the application for a declaration of the mock liquidation of a job position may apply to the entrepreneur and require him to present the current employment structure of employees. It also has the right to interview employees who have recently been hired to determine their responsibilities. If one of several employees occupying a given position has been fired, the court may question the choice of the dismissed person. Before the dismissal of an employee, the employer should create and maintain a list of criteria that were taken into account when selecting the person to be dismissed. When selecting employees for dismissal, entrepreneurs may take into account criteria such as:

  • professional suitability,
  • experience,
  • seniority,
  • the employee's financial situation.

The use of criteria is not allowed

  • union membership,
  • age.

The court may require the presentation of documents confirming the entrepreneur's thorough analysis of the dismissal of employees.

If, as a result of the proceedings, the liquidation of the workplace actually turns out to be apparent, the entrepreneur may be brought before a labor court. In addition, the court may order the employee to be reinstated on previous terms or the payment of compensation.