Recent times have seen regular announcements of mass redundancies, more often than not from a company with global operations. These companies face the daunting challenge of analysing and comparing employee rights under the different legal regimes and co-ordinating the headcount reduction internationally.
Our recent briefing provides an overview of the regimes in key jurisdictions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, answering the questions employers are most likely to ask at an initial stage and highlighting the differences.
One might think European law on mass redundancies ought to be the same in every EU country. After all, it comes from a single EU Directive setting out in some detail what is required:
where there are “collective redundancies”, an employer must consult with the workers’ representatives in good time and with a view to reaching agreement
consultation must be on avoiding or minimising the number of redundancies and mitigating the consequences (eg by redeploying or retraining workers)
the employer must give the representatives specified information including the reasons for the proposals, the number and category of workers to be made redundant, the proposed timescale and selection criteria and the level of redundancy payments
consultation must take place with a view to reaching agreement as to the proposals so it is very important that no decisions are taken before the process commences
a government body must be notified a specified period before dismissals take effect.
However, individual member states are given discretion in a number of key areas, for example:
how to define collective redundancies
who the representatives are
whether the representatives can call on the services of experts
what the remedy for breach should be.
And of course the Directive only sets out minimum requirements – individual member states can adopt laws more favourable to workers.
In contrast, there are only collective consultation obligations in Russia if the proposal involves the redundancy of trade union members, and there is no obligation to consult collectively on redundancies in the GCC States nor in most of the key Asian countries, with the exception of China.
Our briefing provides a quick reference guide to the most important issues in each country and highlights the key differences, enabling you to analyse where and what the most significant timing and cost issues will be.
Countries covered: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Russia, GCC States, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand.
To request the full text briefing please email firstname.lastname@example.org.