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Which are the types of dismissal regulated by the current legislation?

¿Cuáles son los tipos de despido regulados por la legislación actual?

Dismissals are classified in different ways, considering the characteristics of the procedures, such as whether it affects one person or a large part of the workforce, whether it complies with the legality or instead have occurred irregularities or according to the type of causes.

1 july 2020

The employment relationship between an enterprise or institution and an employee can end in several ways. In many cases, labour conflict arise between the both parties that cannot be solved by mutual agreement and the employment relationship terminates through the dismissal.


There are several types of dismissal regulated by the current legislation. The conditions in which the dismissal is carried out are determined in the regulation. These vary according to various aspects such as the type of contract, the working years or the reasons and the way the dismissal is made.

The different ways in which an enterprise can end an employment relationship are the following: the employees can claim a number of conditions to which they are entitled (compensation or severance) or the enterprise is not bound to assume any responsibility for carrying out this action.

According to the causes

  • Disciplinary dismissal

The enterprise justify the decision after detecting a serious breach by the employees. These serious breaches, which can be sanctioned by this type of dismissal, are enshrined in the section 54 of Statute of Workers Rights (Estatuto de los Trabajadores), some of them are indiscipline or disobedience at work, continued and voluntary decrease in efficiency or physical / verbal offenses to people or families in the work environment.

  • Objective dismissal

The enterprise choose the dismissal in order to end with the employment relationship for reasons that are not related to the employee. These reasons are economic, organisational or productive and are regulated in the section 52 of the Statute of Workers Rights.


According to the legality of the process

  • Fair dismissal

A dismissal is fair when the causes are demonstrated and the procedure is carried out by the legal means subject to the legislation.

  • Unfair dismissal

​This takes place in cases contrary to the previous one. Those dismissals whose causes are not properly justified or some point of the regulations that regulate this type of situations have been violated.

  • Null dismissal

Employees must be readmitted after the dismissal process has been disqualified.


According to the dimension

  • Individual dismissal

The dismissals only affect one person or a small group of employees who end the employment relationship for reasons that may or may not coincide with that of the other co-workers.

  • Collective dismissal (layoff)

They occur when it affects a minimum of 10 employees in an enterprise that has at least 100 employees or when it suffers a 10 percent of the workforce of an enterprise of between 200 and 300 employees. In workplaces where there are more than 300, there must be at least 30 dismissals to consider this action a layoff.