Over the years, the issue related to the lack of legislative criteria for the preference given to continuing the work activities of employees in cases of reduction of positions has been raised in the annual reports summarizing the activities of the Human Rights Defender.
The issue was raised with the complaints that were addressed to the Defender, in which the citizens informed that the employers show an unfair approach when dismissing them due to the reduction in the positions.
The study of the received complaints prove that the concerns raised are justified since, when determining the preference of continuing work activities, the employer is guided by their discretion. As a result, cases are registered where an employee with a longer length of service, a higher service grade or a higher performance appraisal score is dismissed, giving way to an employee that does not fully satisfy the mentioned criteria.
A comprehensive study of the complaints suggests that the decrease in the positions is a method used by the employers to dispose of “unwanted” employees is an illegal and thus an inadmissible phenomenon. Therefore, the general review of the complaints addressed to the Defender allows to register a tendency that the employers do not exercise their discretion in good faith when giving the preference of continuing work activities to an employer, when decreasing the positions. Employers are given a wide range of discretion in this issue.
The Human Rights Defender reaffirms their position that the solution should be the prescription of certain criteria of selection between the employees that will be dismissed as a result of decreasing the positions. This should also be carried out while taking into consideration the characteristics, the professional training, and the qualifications of the concerned employees.
Source: The Human Rights Defender's Office, Republic of Armenia