Purpose and methodology

EPLex database brings together, in a comparative manner, national provisions on employment protection. These provisions are grouped under nine key themes: legal coverage of employment protection, regulations of the use of fixed-term contracts, regulations of probationary (trial) periods of regular (indefinite duration) contracts, valid and prohibited grounds for dismissal, categories of workers with special protection against dismissal, procedures for individual and for collective dismissals, redundancy and severance pay, and avenues for redress.

The structure of the EPLex database reflects the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158). Since the Convention regulates termination of employment at the initiative of the employer, the terms “termination of employment” or “dismissal” used in the database refer exclusively to the ending of employment at the initiative of the employer.

The database primarily contains legislative information, however, reference to collective agreements is also made when a national collective agreement on the relevant subject is in force. In addition, where a reference to the case law is needed to prevent a misleading understanding of the law, this is added in the remarks boxes.

EPlex also deals only with employees in the private sector. In the vast majority of both common law and civil law legal systems, public employees are subject to specific statutory rules.

The countries included in the database showcase a diversity of legal systems, covering countries at all levels of development. The EPLex database is updated regularly, and information on additional countries continues to be added.



The EPLex database has been developed by ILO lawyers and economists. The legal database is coordinated by Valérie Van Goethem and Colin Fenwick of the ILO Labour Law and Reform Unit (LABOURLAW). The quantification of the legal information is coordinated by Janine Berg of the ILO Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch (INWORK).


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