Collective redundancies are dismissals within 30 days of the following numbers of people:
- more than five employees in an establishment of 20 to 60 employees; or
- 10% or more than 25 employees in an establishment of 60 to 500 employees; or
- at least 30 employees in an establishment of 500 or more employees.
The employer must duly notify the employment agency, which is a state authority with local branches, of the proposed redundancies in writing prior to serving dismissal letters. However, the employment will not end before expiry of the waiting period after notification (in general one month, exceptions possible). Further, on condition that the employees of the establishment have elected a works council, the employer must prior to serving notice of termination engage in time-consuming negotiations with the works council to reach a reconciliation of interests (‘Interessenausgleich’), which is usually combined with negotiations regarding a social plan (‘Sozialplan’).