Discussion meeting – content of this article:
What is a discussion meeting and what is the purpose?
The employer is obliged to hold a discussion meeting.
This applies before the decision of termination and dismissal is made. The legal basis for this is arbeidsmiljøloven § 15-1:
“§ 15-1 Discussion before decision of termination.
Before the employer makes a decision of termination, the issue shall, as far as practically possible, be discussed with the employee and with the employee’s representative, unless the employee himself does not wish to do so. Both the background for the termination and any eventual selection between several employees of who will be terminated, shall be discussed.”
Firstly, it is “the background for the termination“ that shall be discussed. For the employer, this means that he is obliged to present an objective overview of the actual circumstances that justify a possible termination. The employee shall then have the opportunity to give his comments so that the case is as well informed as possible.
In the case of several terminations in the company, the employer must document the selection criteria and why it affects the individual employee.
It follows from the law that discussions with the employee shall take place as far as it is practically possible. In practice, this means in the majority of cases.
Notification of discussion meeting
“Arbeidsmiljøloven” does not have formal requirements for how a notification of a discussion meeting has to look like. However, it is recommended that the notification is written. The notification should clearly state that the notification applies to a discussion meeting to discuss the emloyment and termination.
The notification should be given in a reasonable time in advance, as the employee must be given time to consider weather he wishes to bring a representativ or other advisor to the meeting, for example a lawyer.
Discussion meeting – advice for employees
As soon as you get the notification of the discussion meeting, preparations should begin. Thoroughly preparations for a discussion meeting can make the difference between getting terminated, keeping the job or getting a severance package.
- Try to remain calm and keep a factual tone as much as possible. It’s often easier for the employer to offer an reasonable solution for an employee that is pleasent despite disagreeing.
- Prepare well. Bring relevant documentation to the meeting.
- Ask for documentation on the conditions the employer points out.
- Be sure to point out what you disagree on, and ask the employer to write it down in the protocol.
What should be avoided?
For most people, a discussion meeting will be a tough emotional experience. It can therefore be easy to lose your temper and raise your voice at the employer. This is not the best approach if you want to achieve the best possible financial solution for yourself.
Furthermore, you should try to avoid counter-arguments that obviously do not get trough. It is better to focus on the best arguments and repeat them instead.
Bring a lawyer to a discussion meeting
Including a lawyer in a discussion meeting will often make the employer a bit more defensive and he may be willing to offer a severance package more easily . However, this does not always happen. Whether you should have a lawyer will therefore depend on a balance regarding what you think you can achieve beyond what you can manage on your own and the cost of using a lawyer. In many cases where a severance agreement is reached, the employer will usually agree to cover the lawyer’s costs for the employee.
Read more about what we offer in employment law.
Get in touch for a free and non-binding chat about how we can help you.
When closing a severance agreement, we usually get the employer to cover the lawyer’s costs.
Phone: +47 23 68 85 58