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.
The implementation of collective redundancies is mainly regulated by law and the National Collective Bargaining Agreement, which imposes some procedural steps prior to implementing any such decision.
Three main issues must be considered regarding the preparation and implementation of a collective social plan:
- Drafting an information document containing all essential elements
regarding the decision to restructure, its motivation, its implementation and the measures taken by the employer to minimise any adverse impacts on employees;
- Circulating the information to staff representatives, discussing it with them and collecting their comments and choices about measures taken to implement the restructuring (i.e., the measures adopted to minimise the number of dismissals); and
- Implementing the restructuring plan, by obtaining the required authorisations as the case may be, notifying employees of their terminations and paying termination indemnities.