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Advice and Tips

Your employer’s management rights

Written by Tekna’s Legal Department  Modified: Mar. 2 2021

An employer’s management rights are often defined as the right an employer has to hire and dismiss employees as well as manage, delegate and monitor their work. This right is often described as “residual knowledge” because the competence needed to decide and lead is limited by several factors.

Management rights’ limitations

The term “management rights” isn’t a completely unambiguous term: An employer must practice management rights within certain limitations. A decision must be characterized by matter-of-factness and not by external considerations or arbitrariness. Beyond these points, however, an employer does have certain rights when a decision must be made or an action implemented. The points an employer may unilaterially determine may be defined to a great extent by statutory/contractual limitations or prohibitions.

Management rights and prohibitions

The two most important limitations on management rights are:

a) Public law restrictions such as The Working Environment Act, The Holiday Act and The Personal Data Act (including regulations)

b) Employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements

How an employment contract places limits on management rights

It follows from this that an employment contract is central to ensuring employee rights as it’s normally the only written document that defines the contractual relationship between employee and employer. It also gives an indication of what an employer can and cannot unilaterally decide, and which deviations form the basis for negotiations between the two parties. A collective bargaining agreement can also act as a supplement to an employment contract. Administrative decisions, including the personnel handbook or organizational guidelines, can normally be unilaterally changed by the employer.

Our recommendation

We recommend that you always look through your employment contract proposal carefully before signing it. Our attorneys will gladly help you read through your contract and provide you with sound advice in connection with your job offer.

Please contact us if you feel that your employer is forcing changes or work tasks on you that you feel violate the law, your employment contract and/or collective bargaining agreement.

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