Collective redundancies are defined as dismissals within a 30-day period of:
- more than ten employees in an establishment of 20 − 100 employees; or
- 10% or more of the employees in an establishment of 101 − 300 employees; or
- at least 30 employees in an establishment of 300 or more employees. The total number of employees also includes those employees whose employment relationship was terminated by agreement between the employee and the employer based on the same grounds for which other employees are being dismissed, if at least 5 employees were dismissed by notice of termination.
The employer must inform the works council and trade union (or directly affected employees if there is no works council or trade union) of its intentions at least 30 days prior to giving notice of termination, and must enter into negotiations to reach a compromise or reduce the number of affected employees, etc.
The employer must simultaneously inform the Labour Office in writing:
- that it has discussed the collective redundancies and its implications (i.e. the later results of these discussions) with the trade union, works council or affected employees; and
- of the actions it has taken in cooperation with the trade union / works council in relation to the collective redundancies; and
- of the number, characteristics, professional qualification, etc. of the employees to be made redundant.
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’).