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HR Legal

Doctor was not prescribed relocation

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Legal news
calendar 18 June 2023
globus Denmark

An agency terminated a doctor in a managerial position as part of a reorganization. However, several similar positions without managerial responsibility were available, which she was not offered. The question in the case was if the termination was unjustified, as she should have been relocated to one of the available positions. The judge found the termination was unjustified as the refusal to relocate her was not sufficiently supported.

A doctor was employed in a managerial position within an agency. After having been employed for a year, she received a warning. The warning was based on her problematic behaviour towards the management and her issues with cooperating. One week later, she was notified that she was terminated due to a reorganization within her department.

At the time of termination, several similar positions were available for doctors without managerial responsibility. Therefore, she requested relocation to one of those positions. The management refused based on an assessment of her skills.

All about skills

The judge found that the termination was unjustified. The warning she had received before being terminated was based on her behaviour as a manager, not her professional skills. Moreover, the employee had been working as a doctor without managerial responsibility before being promoted. That supported that she could have performed similar available positions at the time of termination.  

As a result, the agency had to prove why it was not possible to relocate her. It was unable to do so. Therefore, there was no reason to reject the request for relocation, and the termination was unjustified.

IUNO’s opinion

This case confirms that as part of a reorganization process, there is an obligation to offer relocation to an available position if the employee has the right skills. Otherwise, companies must be prepared to document a refusal to offer relocation. Otherwise, there is a risk that the termination will be unjustified.

As part of a reorganization process, IUNO recommends companies carefully consider whether it is possible to relocate employees as an alternative to termination. Of course, relocation presumes the employee has the right skills and knowledge to fill the position. If the employee can become the right fit by undergoing short training, companies should complete a relocation process.

[Industrial arbitration of 20 February 2023 in case FV 2022-1055]

A doctor was employed in a managerial position within an agency. After having been employed for a year, she received a warning. The warning was based on her problematic behaviour towards the management and her issues with cooperating. One week later, she was notified that she was terminated due to a reorganization within her department.

At the time of termination, several similar positions were available for doctors without managerial responsibility. Therefore, she requested relocation to one of those positions. The management refused based on an assessment of her skills.

All about skills

The judge found that the termination was unjustified. The warning she had received before being terminated was based on her behaviour as a manager, not her professional skills. Moreover, the employee had been working as a doctor without managerial responsibility before being promoted. That supported that she could have performed similar available positions at the time of termination.  

As a result, the agency had to prove why it was not possible to relocate her. It was unable to do so. Therefore, there was no reason to reject the request for relocation, and the termination was unjustified.

IUNO’s opinion

This case confirms that as part of a reorganization process, there is an obligation to offer relocation to an available position if the employee has the right skills. Otherwise, companies must be prepared to document a refusal to offer relocation. Otherwise, there is a risk that the termination will be unjustified.

As part of a reorganization process, IUNO recommends companies carefully consider whether it is possible to relocate employees as an alternative to termination. Of course, relocation presumes the employee has the right skills and knowledge to fill the position. If the employee can become the right fit by undergoing short training, companies should complete a relocation process.

[Industrial arbitration of 20 February 2023 in case FV 2022-1055]

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Hessellund Klausen

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Groth Henriksen

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

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Cecillie

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Johan

Gustav Dein

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Aurora Braut Bache

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Hessellund Klausen

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