Changes to the Employment Contracts Act at the turn of the year
The changes came into effect on 1 January 2017.
The maximum length of the trial period has increased from four to six months. Another change is that the trial period can be further extended if the employee has been absent from work during the trial period due to inability to work or family leave.
As for temporary employment contracts, there is no change to the overall length of the trial period; it still cannot exceed either half the length of the temporary employment period, or six months.
The new regulation on trial periods will be applied only to employment contracts made after 1 January 2017. The trial period must always be agreed upon separately before the employment relationship begins, usually as part of the contract. The employer does not have the right to unilaterally decide on the length of the trial period.
The justification requirement for temporary work contracts has changed
As of 1 January employers can make temporary work contracts, without having to provide additional grounds, with jobseekers who have been unemployed for over 12 months. In such cases the temporary employment contract can be made for one year at most.
The contract can also consist of a maximum of three shorter temporary contracts, of which the combined duration is at most one year.
A shorter period of obligation to re-employ
As part of the legal changes, the period of obligation to rehire has been decreased from nine months to four months. An exception to this is that the period of obligation to re-employ is six months if the employment relationship had continued uninterrupted for at least 12 months before coming to an end.
The obligation to rehire makes the employer liable for offering work to an employee who has been laid off, if the Employment and Economic Development Office confirms that the laid-off person has been seeking work, and if the employer requires an employee for the same or similar work from which the person was laid off.
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Family leave compensation for employers