>Section 60. Protection against unfair dismissal.
1. Employees may not be dismissed unless this is objectively justified on the basis of matters connected with the establishment, the employer or the employee.
2. Dismissal due to curtailed operations or rationalization measures is not objectively justified if the employer has other suitable work to offer the employee in the establishment. When deciding whether a dismissal is objectively justified by curtailed operations or rationalization measures, the needs of the establishment shall be weighed against the disadvantage caused by the dismissal for the individual employee.
Dismissal owing to an employer’s actual or planned contracting out of the establishment’s ordinary operations to a third party is not objectively justified unless it is absolutely essential in order to maintain the continued operations of the establishment.
3. Dismissal before an employee reaches 70 years of age due solely to the fact that the employee has reached retirement age pursuant to the National Insurance Act shall not be deemed to be objectively justified. After the employee reaches 66 years of age, but not later than six months before he reaches retirement age, the employer may inquire in writing whether the employee wishes to retire from his post upon reaching retirement age. A reply to this inquiry must be returned in writing not less than three months before the employee reaches retirement age.
Provided that this is expressly stated in the inquiry, protection against dismissal under the preceding paragraph lapses if no reply is received within the time limit stated.
Section 61. Disputes relating to unfair dismissals, etc.
1. In legal proceedings concerning whether an employment relationship exists or compensation in connection with termination of an employment relationship, Act No. 5 of 13 August 1915 relating to the Courts of Justice and Act No. 6 of 13 August 1915 relating to Judicial Procedure in Civil Cases shall apply,but in accordance with the special rules laid down in this section and sections 61A, 61B and 61C. Claims in connection with or in the place of claims that may be submitted pursuant to the first sentence may be included.
2. Employees who wish to claim that an employment relationship has not been legally terminated or who wish to claim compensation owing to termination of an employment relationship may demand negotiations with the employer.
In that event the employee shall notify the employer of this in writing not later than two weeks after receiving notice. The employer shall arrange a meeting for negotiations at the earliest opportunity and not later than within two weeks of receiving the request.
If the employee institutes legal proceedings or notifies the employer that proceedings will be instituted without negotiations having been conducted, the employer may demand negotiations with the employee. A demand for negotiations shall be submitted in writing as soon as possible and not later than two weeks after the employer has been notified that legal proceedings have been or will be instituted. The employer shall arrange a meeting for negotiations in accordance with the rules of the preceding paragraph and, if legal proceedings have been instituted, shall notify the court in writing that negotiations will be conducted. The employee is obliged to attend the negotiations.
The employee is entitled to engage the assistance of an elected union representative or other adviser during the negotiations. Similarly the employer may engage the assistance of an adviser.
The negotiations must be completed not later than two weeks from the day the first negotiating meeting was held, unless the parties agree to continue negotiations.
Minutes shall be kept of the negotiations and shall be signed by the parties and their advisers.
3. If the dispute is not settled by negotiation or if negotiations are not conducted, the employee may, within eight weeks of the conclusion of negotiations or of the date that notice of dismissal was given, open legal proceedings pursuant to the rules laid down in this Act, nevertheless cf. section 57, subsection 2, third paragraph, of this Act. If the employee claims compensation only, the time limit for legal proceedings is 6 months from the date notice of dismissal was given. The parties may agree upon a longer time limit for legal proceedings in each individual case.
If negotiations have been conducted, a certified copy of the minutes shall be forwarded with the summons.
4. As long as the dispute is the subject of negotiations in accordance with the rules of subsection 2, the employee may remain in his post.
If legal proceedings have been instituted in accordance with subsection 3 within eight weeks of the time negotiations were concluded or notice was received, and before expiry of the period of notice, the employee may remain in his post until a legally enforceable judgement is delivered. The same applies if, before the period of notice expires, the employee notifies the employer in writing that legal proceedings will be instituted within the eight-week time limit. Nevertheless, when so requested by the employer, the court may order that the employee shall leave his post while the case is in progress, provided that the court finds it unreasonable that employment should continue while the case is in progress. At the same time the court shall stipulate the time limit within which the employee is to leave.
The court may decide that an employee who has been unlawfully locked out of his place of work after the time limit for notice has expired is entitled to resume his post, if the employee so requests within four weeks of such a lockout.
The right to remain in the post does not apply to participants in labour market schemes under the direction of or in collaboration with the Labour Market Administration who are dismissed because they are offered ordinary employment or transferred to another scheme or because the scheme is terminated.