Ashdod Café published an article by advocate Shira Zaken Porat of Afik & Co. on the obligation to detail grounds for termination of employment as part of a hearing
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Ashdod Café published an article by advocate Shira Zaken Porat of Afik & Co. on the obligation to detail grounds for termination of employment as part of a hearing

October 30, 2017

Many of our clients, who are considering termination of a certain employee, often ask whether, and to what extent, one need specify the grounds for dismissal as part of a summons to a pre-termination hearing and at the hearing itself. Is it necessary to specify the full grounds, even if such might offend the employee?
An employer does not always wish to provide the employee with the full reason for dismissal. Sometimes this may also be due to unpleasantness. It is not always pleasant to stand before the employee and enumerate all allegations against him, especially when the case is that the employee's work quality was poor or in case of complaints against him (such as by other employees) are such that the conversation on which might humiliate the employee. However, in fact such cases, sometimes, are cases where the employee may have good answers that may change the employer's opinion and therefore caselaw places importance on the detailing of the grounds for the hearing.
The Courts held that the right to be heard is a basic right, which is given a place of honor when an employer considers terminating an employee. The purpose of the right to be heard is to make an intelligent decision regarding the termination of the employee, all while paying due attention and weight to the employee's positions, because the employee may indeed have good answers to arguments against him - answers that may change the employer's position. Therefore, the employer is obligated to present the employee with all the arguments directed against him.
Caselaw of the National Labor Court teaches that both in the framework of a summons to a hearing and at the beginning of the hearing, the employer must explain to the employee the causes of dismissal, in an enumerated basis. In other words, the employer can not specify general dismissal grounds or "headlines" (e.g., "dissatisfaction with performance") but is required to detail grounds that give the employee a real opportunity to defend himself from the intention to terminate his employment.
In the event of an infringement of the right to be heard, the Labor Court may, in addition to awarding compensation, even cancel the termination and order the enforcement of employment agreement. However, Labor Courts tend not to cancel termination and prefer to award monetary compensation. It should be noted that holdings on compensation are already relatively high and are constantly rising. For example, in a case that was recently discussed at the Regional Labor Court in Jerusalem, an employee was summoned to a hearing for "discontent of the supervisors" and "loss of trust". The employee requested several times to receive written details regarding such arguments and during the hearing also demanded this, but was refused. The Court held that the hearing was not duly held and the employee was compensated ILS 70,000 for monetary and non-monetary damages.
We reiterate that the issue of employing employees in general and terminating their employment is a complex issue and it is important to receive ongoing advice from lawyers who are knowledgeable in the field to ensure that procedures are duly taken and such do not expose the employer to liability.