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.
Collective redundancies are dismissals within 30 days performed at the sole discretion of the employer, for reasons not related to the dismissed employees, of the following numbers of people:
- at least ten employees in establishments of more than 20 and less than 100 employees; or
- 10% of the employees in establishments of 100 to 300 employees; or
- at least 30 employees in establishments of more than 300 employees.
If at least five dismissals have taken place within a period of 30 days, every new dismissal at the sole discretion of the employer for reasons not related to the dismissed employee shall be added up to the total number of dismissals for the purposes of evaluating whether a collective redundancy has taken place or not.
Certain reporting and consultancy obligations exist for employers in the event of collective redundancies. Consultations with the union representatives and the employees shall start at least 45 days before the collective redundancies. Thirty days before the collective redundancies, employers shall notify the Employment Agency.