warningThe warning is usually a written notification from the employer to the employee, with the content that the employer is guilty of a major misconduct of a worker. The main purpose of the warning is the written documentation of a misconduct, which in the event of repetition also comes as written evidence for the execution and legal examination of a termination.

The warning is to be classified between an oral note and the denunciation

In labor law, there are numerous regulations which protect the employee against arbitrary dismissal. Whether it is the statutory rules on dismissal or the agreements of the employers ‘organizations with employees’ representatives or trade unions. It may well be that an employee can not be terminated after ten or fifteen years of service if he is not proven faulty. Or he receives a full monthly salary each year.

However, even in the case of long-term membership and a secure workplace, the employees should continue to provide some kind of standard service in order to justify labor costs and to maintain motivation. For this reason, there are various instruments to be able to remedy the disruption of a working relationship or to prepare a substantiated separation.

The supervisor of the employee can begin by a friendly, guiding discussion about the performance increase in order to meet the agreed targets. Or they may resort to a much more formal means of warning. This is, so to speak, a kind of warning shot and says: “Do not go so far, this endangers our cooperation!” If the employee does not change his behavior fundamentally, then the warning improves the opportunity of the employer to pronounce a termination, which does not necessarily have to comply with the full agreed notice period. However, the courts are restrictive in the recognition of the warning, a warning is always valid only for the area of ​​the misconduct for which it was pronounced.

An even stronger means than the warning is the immediate, immediate termination of an employee. However, this is only permitted to a very limited extent, for example, when the employee reaches into the cashier or steals goods and the trust relationship between the two sides is seen to be massively shaken.

What can an employee do with a warning?

Of course, a warning is a very clear way of expressing the failure of the employer. In only a few cases, however, it is worthwhile to go against it, for example in the case of false claims. As a rule, however, a clarifying discussion between the employer and the employee will be able to work miracles. Otherwise, of course, adapting the criticized behavior to what is customary in the company and in the industry. Warnings also indirectly have a kind of “expiration date”: after two years, you are no longer valid according to the applicable jurisprudence if the misconduct in the area addressed has not been changed.

The main features of a warning are:

  • It is a written communication between the employer and the employee
  • Should at the same time be a written reminder, but allow the return to normal cooperation
  • Does not lead directly to the termination, but is a kind of warning shot and also serves the written documentation


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