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[ Administrative_Law ][SUPREME COURT] Revocation of Readjudication on Relief Request for Unfair Labor Practice
2020.04.16

Supreme Court Decision 2019Du45647 Decided October 31, 2019 【Revocation of Readjudication on Relief Request for Unfair Labor Practice】

대법원 2019. 10. 31. 선고 2019두45647 판결 [부당해고구제재심판정취소]

 

【Main Issues and Holdings】 판시사항

Where an employee having entered into an employment contract(근로계약) for a definite period is considered to be entitled to a reasonable right to expect renewal of an employment contract, validity of unreasonable refusal to renew the employment contract in violation of such a right (invalid) and whether the employment relationship after termination remains the same as renewal of the previous employment contract (affirmative).

Where an employment contract for a definite period is concluded after the retirement age has been reached, standard of determining whether there exists a reasonable right to expect(기대권) renewal of an employment contract.

Standard of determining whether there is a reasonable ground for an employer to refuse to renew an employment contract by ignoring an employee’s reasonable right to expect renewal of an employment contract and the person bearing the burden of proof(증명책임) regarding the existence of such circumstances (held: employer).

Whether such legal principle likewise applies in the event of the termination of an employment contract for a definite period concluded by a seafarer who is subject to the Seafarers’ Act (affirmative).

기간을 정하여 근로계약을 체결한 근로자에게 근로계약이 갱신될 수 있으리라는 정당한 기대권이 인정되는 경우, 이를 위반하는 사용자의 부당한 근로계약 갱신 거절의 효력(무효) 및 이때 기간만료 후의 근로관계는 종전의 근로계약이 갱신된 것과 동일한지 여부(적극) / 정년이 지난 상태에서 기간제 근로계약을 체결한 경우, 근로계약 갱신에 관한 정당한 기대권이 인정되는지 판단하는 기준 / 근로자에게 근로계약 갱신에 대한 정당한 기대권이 있는데도 사용자가 이를 배제하고 근로계약 갱신을 거절한 데에 합리적 이유가 있는지 판단하는 기준 및 그러한 사정에 관한 증명책임의 소재(=사용자) / 이러한 법리가 선원법(Seafarers’ Act)이 적용되는 선원이 체결한 기간제 근로계약이 종료된 경우에도 마찬가지로 적용되는지 여부(적극).

 

【Summary of Decision】 판결요지

As regards an employee who entered into an employment contract for a definite period, the status relationship in which the said employee was an employee is terminated, as a matter of course, and the rule is that an employee retires upon the failure to renew an employment contract even though there is no declaration of intention of refusing to renew the contract. Nevertheless, where an employee is deemed to be entitled to a reasonable right to expect renewal of an employment contract, either based on a provision in employment contracts, employment regulations and collective agreements, etc. stating that an employment contract is renewed upon satisfying a set of requirements regardless of the termination of employment term or, even if there is no such provision, based on a fiduciary relationship between the parties of an employment contract with respect to the fact that satisfaction of a specified requirement would guarantee renewal of an employment contract, when comprehensively considering various circumstances surrounding the employment relationship, including (i) the content of an employment contract; (ii) the motive and background leading up to the conclusion of an employment contract; (iii) whether the requirements or procedures for renewal, such as standards for renewal of contract, have been put in place and if so, how they are actually implemented; and (iv) the content of the task performed by an employee, an employer’s unreasonable refusal to renew an employment contract in breach of such a right is considered as invalid as unfair dismissal(부당해고). In such an instance, the employment relationship after termination remains the same as renewal of the previous employment contract. Where an employment contract for a definite period is concluded after the retirement age has been reached, the determination of whether an employee is entitled to a reasonable right to expect renewal of an employment contract has to be made by comprehensively taking account of not only various circumstances illustrated above but also (i) the skills required for task performance as needed from the characteristic of the task; (ii) the appropriateness of an employee in performing the task; (iii) the level of likelihood of diminished productivity and increased risk with age; and (iv) whether there are existing precedents involving senior workers having reached the retirement age and whether their contracts have been renewed in the workplace in question. Where there is a dispute regarding the existence of reasonable grounds for an employer’s refusal to renew an employment contract by ignoring an employee’s reasonable right to expect renewal that has been already created, there needs to be a comprehensive examination of various circumstances surrounding the employment relationship, including (i) the purpose and nature of an employer’s business; (ii) a workplace condition; (iii) an employee’s position and the content of his or her task; (iv) the background leading up to the conclusion of an employment contract; (v) whether the requirements or procedures for renewal have been put in place, and if so, how they are actually implemented; and (vi) whether there are reasons attributable to an employer, so as to determine whether the grounds for refusal of renewal and the procedures thereof were objective, reasonable and fair in light of the social norm(사회통념). The burden of proof regarding such circumstances lies in the employer. This legal doctrine likewise applies to a case in which an employment contract for a definite period concluded by a seafarer who is subject to the Seafarers’ Act is terminated.

기간을 정하여 근로계약을 체결한 근로자의 경우 기간이 지나면 근로자로서의 신분관계는 당연히 종료되고 근로계약을 갱신하지 못하면 갱신거절의 의사표시가 없어도 근로자는 당연히 퇴직하는 것이 원칙이다. 그러나 근로계약, 취업규칙, 단체협약 등에서 기간만료에도 불구하고 일정한 요건을 갖추면 근로계약이 갱신된다는 규정을 두고 있거나, 그러한 규정이 없더라도 근로계약의 내용과 근로계약이 이루어지게 된 동기와 경위, 계약 갱신의 기준 등 갱신 요건이나 절차의 설정 여부와 그 실태, 근로자가 수행하는 업무의 내용 등 근로관계를 둘러싼 여러 사정을 종합해 볼 때 근로계약 당사자 사이에 일정한 요건을 충족하면 근로계약이 갱신된다는 신뢰관계가 형성되어 있어 근로자에게 그에 따라 근로계약이 갱신될 수 있으리라는 정당한 기대권이 인정되는 경우에는 사용자가 이를 위반하여 부당하게 근로계약의 갱신을 거절하는 것은 부당해고와 마찬가지로 아무런 효력이 없다. 이 경우 기간만료 후의 근로관계(employment relationship)는 종전의 근로계약이 갱신된 것과 동일하다. 그리고 정년이 지난 상태에서 기간제 근로계약을 체결한 경우에는 위에서 본 여러 사정 외에 해당 직무의 성격에서 요구되는 직무수행 능력과 근로자의 업무수행 적격성, 연령에 따른 작업능률 저하나 위험성 증대의 정도, 해당 사업장에서 정년이 지난 고령자가 근무하는 실태와 계약이 갱신된 사례 등을 종합적으로 고려하여 근로계약 갱신에 관한 정당한 기대권이 인정되는지를 판단하여야 한다. 근로자에게 이미 형성된 갱신에 대한 정당한 기대권이 있는데도 사용자가 이를 배제하고 근로계약의 갱신을 거절한 데에 합리적 이유가 있는지가 문제 될 때에는 사용자의 사업 목적과 성격, 사업장 여건, 근로자의 지위와 담당 직무의 내용, 근로계약 체결 경위, 근로계약의 갱신 요건이나 절차의 설정 여부와 운용 실태, 근로자에게 책임 있는 사유가 있는지 등 근로관계를 둘러싼 여러 사정을 종합하여 갱신 거부의 사유와 절차가 사회통념에 비추어 볼 때 객관적이고 합리적이며 공정한지를 기준으로 판단하여야 하고, 그러한 사정에 관한 증명책임은 사용자가 부담한다. 이러한 법리는 선원법이 적용되는 선원이 체결한 기간제 근로계약이 종료된 경우에도 마찬가지로 적용된다.

 

Reference

Supreme Court Library of Korea 2012 <https://library.scourt.go.kr>