Any party seeking to unilaterally terminate an employment contract must provide a written statement indicating the cause or motive behind such termination, except under certain special circumstances. Employers must also provide a "fair" reason for terminating an employee in order to avoid legal repercussions in the form of penalties and fines.
Furthermore, the termination process must adhere strictly to the regulations established by employment contract law, salary law, and social security regulations.
The statutory period in Colombia depends on a number of factors. If an employee is terminated for misconduct, there is no requirement for notice. However, if the worker is on a fixed-term contract, written notice must be provided to the employee at least 30 days before the contract ends. On the other hand, for employees not on fixed-term contracts, a notice of at least 15 days must be given when the employee is terminated due to poor performance. It is worth noting that in such cases, the employee has the right to respond to the termination within 24 hours to challenge the decision.
Colombian employees have the right to severance pay depending on their salary, the nature of agreement with an employer, and the nature of termination.
For a fixed-term agreement, the severance payment is the employee's remaining salary until the contract's end date. However, for indefinite agreements, the amount of severance payment depends on the employee's current salary and the duration of their service. Workers who earn less than COP$9,085,260 receive 30 days' pay for their first year of employment and 20 days' pay for each subsequent year. Meanwhile, those who earn more than 10 times the monthly minimum wage receive 20 days' pay after one year and 15 days' pay for every additional year.
- Probationary period
Probationary periods should be in writing and have a maximum duration of two months for undefined term contracts and fixed term contracts of one to three years. For fixed-term contracts of less than a year, the probationary period cannot be longer than one-fifth of the agreed term, up to a maximum of two months.