Violations of the work discipline and imposing disciplinary sanctions

Updated last 26.03.2021

This section provides information on:

  • Types of violations of the work discipline;
  • Types of disciplinary sanctions;
  • The procedure for imposing a disciplinary sanction.

I. Types of violations of the work discipline

A breach and violation of a work discipline is any culpable non-performance of the work obligations and duties. The key violations of the work discipline listed in the Labour Code include:

  • Violations related to the working hours, including being late for work, leaving work early, not coming to work and inefficiency during the working hours;
  • Coming to work in a condition hindering the performance of the assigned tasks;
  • Violations related to non-performance of the assigned work, including:

– Non-performance of the assigned work;

– Non-compliance with the technical and technological rules which should be followed during the working operations;

– Non-compliance with the rules related to healthy and safe conditions at work;

– Low quality production;

– Non-compliance with the lawful orders of the employer: the employer’s orders, instructions, directions, etc.

  • Unfair practices, related to the employer, including:

– Abuse of the employer’s trust (i.e. intentional abuse of the employer’s trust aimed at deriving benefit and/or causing damage to the employer)

– Disclosure of confidential information related to the employer’s business, his company, technology, commercial deals, etc.

– Causing damage to the image of the employer (i.e. dissemination of data and information that push the clients away, deteriorate the trust in the employer and in the consumer qualities of the company’s products).

II. Types of disciplinary sanctions

Depending on their severity, disciplinary sanctions include:

  • Reprimand – the lightest disciplinary sanction. By issuing a reprimand the employer officially draws the employee’s attention to the employee’s violation and shows him / her that such behaviour deviates from what is expected and accepted. In addition to the moral blame, a consequence of this penalty is that at each repeating breach and violation of the worker / employee a more severe penalty will be imposed;
  • Warning for a dismissal – a sanction which signifies to the employee that if he / she continues to violate the work discipline, a unilateral termination of the employment relation may follow;
  • Dismissal –– the most severe disciplinary punishment, which terminates unilaterally and without any notice (immediately and unconditionally) the employee’s employment legal relationship. Thus the worker / employee shall be deprived of a job and wages and even more – she/he shall be due to the employer a compensation, since the employer has so suddenly lost work force. The compensation shall be in the amount of the employee’s gross wage for the term of the notice – in case of indefinite duration legal employment relationship, and in the amount of the actual damages – in case of fixed duration legal employment relationship.

III. Procedure for imposing disciplinary sanctions

Who has the right to impose disciplinary sanctions?

The bodies imposing disciplinary sanctions include the employer or another authority authorised by the employer to do so. In addition to the employer, if certain conditions are met, such a body may include also:

  • A person appointed by the employer – general manager, director, chair, generally a manager appointed to manage the company’s affairs. He / she may assign another person both the full disciplinary powers vested in him / her by law, or a portion thereof – only for certain types of sanctions. The circle of people that the employer may give the power for disciplinary sanctions to is limited to the persons performing management functions.
  • Another authority authorised to do so by law.

What is the timeframe for imposing disciplinary sanctions?

Disciplinary sanctions are imposed within a specific period of time after the violations and two specific terms are defined by law:

  • Two months after the detection of the violation;
  • Not later than 1 year as of the occurrence of the violation.

„Detection of the violation“ means becoming aware of it, specifically the person authorised to impose disciplinary sanctions finding out about the violation. „One year after the occurrence of the violation” means one year as of the date the violation was completed. The two-month term as of the detection is included in the 1-year term as of the occurrence of the violation.

These terms are compulsory (preclusive) and not abiding by them eradicates the respective employee’s liability and respectively the employer’s right to impose a disciplinary sanction.

The above mentioned periods are suspended: (а) during the time when the employee subject to the sanction is away on statutory leave; (b) while the employee is participating in a strike; (c) during the period of filing the application until the receipt of the opinion of the labor medical experts’ commission and/or of the preliminary permission for resignation by the Labor Inspection (in the cases the law provides for).

What are the main steps in imposing a disciplinary sanction?

Establishing the fact of the breach

Establishing the fact of the breach

The law obliges the employer to detect the violation and collect all the information related to it prior to the imposition of the disciplinary sanction.

The employer is obliged to converse with the employee or to accept his / her written explanations. The employer is relieved of this obligation only if the employee’s explanation has not been provided by the fault of the employee. Giving oral or written explanations is the right of the employee, and the employer is obliged to ask for such explanations. The employee has the right to provide them and he / she may wave this right. The fact that the employee has refused to give explanations should be established in any case.

The employer is obliged to seek explanation by the employee before imposing any kind of disciplinary sanction, not only in case of dismissal on disciplinary grounds.

Determining the type of the disciplinary sanction

Determining the type of the disciplinary sanction

This stage starts once the employer has collected all information, related to the violation. At this stage the employer reviews the collected information/ evidence and makes a decision on whether they confirm or disprove the violation. When the evidence collected confirms the occurrence of the disciplinary violation, the employer has the right to either impose a disciplinary sanction or not.

When the employer takes a decision to impose a sanction, the employer should choose the specific type of the sanction depending on:

  • The severity of the violation;
  • The circumstances in which the violation occurred;
  • The conduct of the employee – whether the employee realises the wrongfulness of the violation committed and its adverse consequences.

Important to know

Important to know

Disciplinary sanction may not be imposed more than once for one and the same violation of the work discipline.

Issuance of a disciplinary sanction order

Issuance of a disciplinary sanction order

The order is issued in writing and should have several elements as required by law:

  • The full name of the employee who committed the violation;
  • The violation the sanction is imposed for;
  • The time the violation was committed;
  • The grounds for the order;
  • The type of the sanction;
  • The wording of the legal provision based on which the sanction is imposed;
  • Signature on the order by the employer/person/body issuing it.

Serving of the disciplinary sanctions order

Serving of the disciplinary sanctions order

The disciplinary sanction order is served to the employee who had committed the violation. If the order is not served, there is no sanction imposed. The serving is certified by the employee’s signature upon receipt and the time of the receipt is marked. If the serving fails, sending the order with registered letter with return receipt is a way to make the employee aware of the order.

The serving of the order for the sanction has three legal implications:

  • From this day onward, the employee is referred to as one who has been sanctioned for a violation;
  • The term for appealing the order commences at the time the order is served;
  • The term for the deletion of the disciplinary sanction commences at the time the order is served.

The disciplinary punishments are erased with the expiration of one year from the imposition thereof. The erasure of a disciplinary firing shall not be grounds for re-appointment of the employee or worker at his/her former job.

For more information

For more information

The conditions and procedure to impose disciplinary sanctions are stipulated in art. 186 to art. 199 of the Labour Code.