Answer ... Prospective claimants cannot file an employment claim without first attempting mediation. If a claim is filed before an application for mediation, the court will reject it on procedural grounds, due to lack of cause of action. This does not apply to claims arising from workplace accidents and occupational diseases.
The parties can participate in the mediation either in person or through their legal representatives or attorneys. An employee who is authorised by the employer by written document may represent the employer in mediation discussions and sign the final written minute.
The new rules on mediation do not apply to claims that were already being heard before the first-instance courts, the regional courts of justice or the Supreme Court as at 1 January 2018.
A dismissed employee who seeks reinstatement must apply for mediation within one month of the date of the termination letter stating that the termination was made without any reason or without valid reason. The mediator must conclude the mediation within three weeks of the date of his or her appointment. This period may be extended for a maximum of one week in obligatory cases.
If the parties fail to reach an agreement at the end of mediation, a claim may be brought in the courts within two weeks of the date of preparation of the final written minute. Where a claim is rejected on procedural grounds because a lawsuit has been filed directly at the labour court without first attempting mediation, it will be notified to the parties ex officio. The parties have two weeks from this date within which to apply for mediation. The lawsuit shall be concluded promptly. If the parties appeal the decision, the regional courts of justice shall resolve the appeal promptly and definitively.
If the dispute is directed to the competent labour court, a final written minute indicating that the parties could not reach an agreement at the end of mediation or a copy thereof approved by the mediator must be added to the lawsuit petition before the claimant can proceed with its claim. If this condition is not met, the court will grant the claimant one week in which to comply. If this requirement is not fulfilled, the lawsuit shall be rejected on procedural grounds.
If a mediator or a labour court concludes that the dismissal with notice of an employee covered by job security protection is invalid (because the employer gave no reason, or no valid reason, for the dismissal), the employer must, in principle, reinstate the employee within one month or make the relevant payment to the employee.
Either party to the dispute may appeal the decision of the labour court to the court of appeals upon receiving the decision. In accordance with the monetary limits set forth in the legislation, the decision of the court of appeals may be definitive or may be appealed to the Supreme Court.