Redundancy of work and court case

A salesperson chose to sue his company, claiming his termination because of redundancy of work in reality constituted fictitious redundancy. We represented the company as their legal representatives throughout the process in both the District Court and the Swedish Labour Court. The matter resulted in a victory for the company in the Swedish Labour Court: court case AD 2020 nr 2.

Termination relating to redundancy of work or reasons relating to the individual employee concerned

The company’s investment in trying to expand its clientele in the middle of Sweden failed, and the company was forced to terminate one employee related to redundancy of work. The salesman claimed however, that the real reason for the termination related to reasons to the individual employee concerned, a so-called fictitious redundancy, and decided to sue his employer at Norrköping District Court. At this point the company was in need of legal representation and turned toward us at the Labour Law Firm MBL 11.

District Court and Labour Court

The salesman had chosen to invalidate the termination, which at this point meant that he could keep his employment with his salary intact until the disagreement was resolved in court. This put a lot of pressure on the company to find a settlement to avoid the high legal fees a court process could bring. Thanks to us, the company knew that they were in the right and therefore chose to let the court decide the disagreement. The rules regarding invalidation of termination subsequently changed on the first of October 2022 when the new Swedish Employment Protection Act entered into force

Since the salesman wasn’t represented by a union, the dispute was tried by Norrköping District Court as the first instance, even though the company was located in Skåne (a worker can choose to sue their employer at the District Court closest to where they live). The company argued that the salesman had been terminated due to the low number of customers in the region, and that it wasn’t profitable for them to keep his employment (redundancy of work). The salesman disputed this and claimed that he had been terminated because of bad sales results (reasons relating to the individual employee concerned) and that the company didn’t have any redundancy of work.

The dispute went all the way to the highest instance, Swedish Labour Court, which determined that the company was right. The court found that it was more or less obvious that the employer had a redundancy of work. An important question was whether the company had completed an investigation of relocation of the employee. The court stated that a small employer didn’t need to make a written investigation of relocation. The matter therefore ended with a victory for the company. The ruling was referenced and is therefore guiding for future rulings of other courts, see AD 2020 nr. 2.

Is your business also sued in court?

We can assist you as an employer by being a legal representative and represent and guide you through the court process. We have assisted employers all over the country in both district courts and the Labor Court.

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