10 min czytania 24 November 2023

Disciplinary dismissal – what are the reasons and consequences?

Disciplinary dismissal is one of the least pleasant departures from work. It happens rarely and is not unfounded. It usually occurs through an employee’s violation of work regulations or professional ethics. What are the causes and consequences of disciplinary dismissal? What are the consequences of disciplinary dismissal? Is remuneration due on disciplinary dismissal? Unlawful dismissal – what can an employer do?

Disciplinary dismissal

Disciplinary dismissal – what does it consist of?

Disciplinary dismissal (disciplinaria), also known as dismissal without notice, is a form of termination of an employee’s employment contract due to a serious breach by the employee of his or her duties or the norms of conduct accepted in the workplace. It is a severe punishment, used in situations where other forms of punishment have failed or the employee’s misconduct is so serious that it is impossible to keep him or her on the team.

Disciplinary dismissal is regulated by the Labour Code and applies to the termination of any type of employment contract by the employer. Regardless of whether the contract is a fixed-term, indefinite, replacement or probationary contract, the employer has the possibility to terminate the employee immediately. This type of interruption of the employment relationship can also apply to any employee, even those protected by law (pre-retired employee, pregnant woman, etc.).

An employer may dismiss an employee by disciplinary action at any time, as long as it has the appropriate grounds for doing so. The Supreme Court confirms that the dismissal procedure is possible, but only in certain cases, which are regulated by the Labour Code. The act of an employee who has been dismissed by disciplinary action should be conscious and expose the employer to damage. The supervisor must therefore justify that the continued employment of this person may involve further violations of the company’s regulations and safety rules.

What can be the reasons for disciplinary dismissal? What can an employer do?

An employer may use disciplinary dismissal in situations where an employee has committed a serious breach of his or her obligations under the employment contract. This is a dismissal with immediate effect. What can be the reasons for termination without notice?

Legal grounds for disciplinary dismissal

Pursuant to Art. 52. § 1. of the Labour Code, the employer may terminate the employment contract without notice due to the employee’s fault in the event of:

  • a grave breach by the employee of his/her basic employment duties,
  • committing by the employee, during the term of the employment contract, an offence which makes it impossible to continue employing the employee on the occupied position, if the offence is evident or has been established by a final judgment,
  • the employee’s culpable loss of the qualifications necessary to perform the work in the position held.

The aforementioned grave breach of the employee’s duties must relate to the employee’s primary duty. The assessment of whether a breach is grave should take into account the degree of fault of the employee and the threat and damage to the employer’s interests. Examples of a grave breach of a fundamental employment duty are showing up at work under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refusing to provide work for the employer.

A reason for disciplinary dismissal is also the commission of a criminal offence by an employee which makes it impossible to employ him/her in his/her position. This applies to general and fiscal offences, but does not apply to past offences. Disciplinary dismissal of an employee due to the commission of an offence requires that the offence is unequivocal or has been established by a final court judgment. An offence is considered unequivocal, for example, when an employee is caught red-handed. When the employer becomes aware of this fact, it is entitled to terminate the employee’s contract because of this offence, but must do so within one month of becoming aware of this information.

Disciplinary dismissal can also occur if an employee has, through no fault of his or her own, lost the entitlements that are necessary to perform the work of the position he or she holds. In the context of this situation, the term “entitlement” should be understood in a broader context. An example of such entitlement might be a driving licence that an employee has lost due to speeding while driving.

Disciplinary dismissal

Reasons for disciplinary dismissal through no fault of the employee

The employer may terminate the contract in situations other than those listed above. It may do so when:

The employee’s absence is excessive or persistent

If the employee is incapacitated as a result of illness lasting:

  • longer than 3 months (when the employee has been employed for less than 6 months),
  • longer than the total period of sickness remuneration and allowance (182 days or 270 days in the case of tuberculosis) and rehabilitation benefit for the first 3 months (if the employee has been employed for at least 6 months or if the inability to work was caused by an accident at work or an occupational disease),
  • where excused absence from work for reasons other than those previously mentioned persists for more than one month.

An employee cannot be dismissed without notice if:

  • is absent from work due to childcare – while receiving benefits (the employee is entitled to benefits in this connection for up to 60 days in one calendar year),
  • is in isolation due to an infectious disease, which includes the period of receipt of both salary and benefit for this reason.


An employer may only dismiss an employee disciplinarily for reasons such as those mentioned above if the employee is absent from work. If he turns up for work, he cannot be dismissed without notice.

When can an employee not be dismissed on disciplinary grounds?

An employer cannot terminate a contract without notice when:

  • the employee requests a change of type of contract or full-time employment or a change of contract for an indefinite period,
  • the employee has an additional employment or contractual relationship with another employer,
  • requests information within 7 or 30 days of the employee’s admission to work,
  • requires information on the change of the registered office/residence address (applies to an employer who is a natural person without a registered office),
  • requires information on changed terms and conditions of employment, coverage by a collective agreement or other collective arrangement,
  • requires the provision of information prior to the employee’s departure for work or for an assignment outside the country, if this period exceeds 4 consecutive weeks, concerning the country or countries, duration, currency of remuneration, benefits, terms and conditions of return, as well as the use of training at the employer’s expense and during working hours, if the employee is entitled to it on the basis of a collective agreement, other collective agreements, regulations, laws or the employment contract.

Employees have a greater right. The principle of reverse proof prevails here. This means that if an employee sues the court oto that he or she was unlawfully dismissed, the employer must prove otherwise.

Disciplinary dismissal

Disciplinary dismissal – procedure and consequences

The consequences of disciplinary dismissal can be very significant for the employee. As it is a termination of contract with immediate effect, the employee is at this point left without a source of income and without employment and social benefits. Disciplinary dismissal can also cause problems and affect difficulties in finding a new job. If a new employer finds out, for example, from an employment certificate, that an employee has been disciplined, they may be reluctant to hire him or her.

Unfortunately, however, the information contained in the certificate of employment will always be there and will not be time-barred. It is therefore worth seeking an amicable termination. Talking to the employer and offering to terminate the contract by mutual agreement is a sensible approach. This form of termination not only does not put the employee’s reputation at risk, but also does not have a negative impact on his or her professional future.

How long will the notice of immediate termination appear on the paperwork?

Unfortunately, it will always be there.

Is severance pay due on disciplinary dismissal?

Termination of an employment contract with immediate effect through the fault of the employee has a number of consequences. In such a case, no person dismissed on disciplinary grounds is entitled to severance pay. Only employees who have been dismissed through the fault of their employer are entitled to severance pay. In addition, disciplinary dismissal means that the employee is not entitled to accrued leave, although he or she is entitled to financial compensation.

Is remuneration due on disciplinary dismissal?

Losing a job without a notice period does not make an employee not entitled to remuneration for the time worked on the contract. Regardless of whether the disciplinary dismissal was due to a serious breach of employment duties, the commission of a criminal offence or the loss of the necessary professional qualifications, the employee is guaranteed the right to be paid.

Unemployment benefit – is it due on disciplinary dismissal?

The Labour Law informs that a person who has been dismissed by disciplinary action has the possibility to apply for unemployment benefits, but can only do so after 180 days. This means that if the termination of the contract occurred within 6 months before registration with the office, the employee will unfortunately not receive the benefit. The collection of the benefit, which has been reduced by the time between the termination of the contract and the registration at the district labour office.

Unjust disciplinary dismissal – employee rights

If an employer has wrongfully dismissed an employee, the employee may take the matter to an employment tribunal. Initially, however, it is advisable to speak to your manager to explain the situation gently. If this does not yield any results, it is possible to take legal action.

Legal basis:

Pursuant to Article 56 § 1 of the Labour Code, an employee who has been handed a termination without notice in violation of the provisions on termination of employment contracts in this manner is entitled to a claim for reinstatement to work under the previous conditions or for compensation. To this end, the employee must file an appeal against the termination of the employment contract with the labour court within 21 days from the date of delivery of the document.

When does unlawful disciplinary dismissal occur?

  • When the employer does not give a reason for the termination of employment.
  • When the employer gives a reason that is not included in the legislation.
  • When at least one month has elapsed since the employer obtained the information on the basis of which the employee was dismissed with immediate effect.

Dismissal is the least pleasant of all dismissals. The consequences for the employee can be enormous and affect their future employment. There will be a disciplinary dismissal on the paperwork, which may be viewed negatively by future employers. Dismissal most often occurs