Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
No statutory definition of collective dismissals. The LA regulates retrenchment which is defined as "the termination by the employer of services of workers, not as a measure of punishment but on the ground of redundancy".
See secs. 2(xi) and 20 LA.
Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives):
There is no obligation as such on the part of the employer to undertake consultations with the worker's representatives on intended retrenchments. Sec. 20(2)b) LA only requires that the collective bargaining agent (trade union) be notified.
Note however, that the LA recognizes the right of the collective bargaining agent in relation to an establishment to undertake collective bargaining with the employer on matters connected with the employment, non-employment, non-employment, the term of employment or the conditions of work (sec. 24(e) LA).
In addition, if an industrial dispute is likely to arise between the employer and the workers (which can be the case for example in the event of retrenchments) the law recognizes the right of the collective bargaining agent to communicate his or its views in writing to the other party, which shall in turn arrange a meting for collective bargaining on the issue with a view to reaching an agreement (sec. 210 on the settlement of industrial disputes).
An industrial dispute is defined in the LA as "any dispute or difference between employers and employers or between employers and workers or between workers and workers which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or the conditions of work of any
person" (sec. 2 (Lxii) LA).
Notification to the public administration:
Sec. 20(2)(b) LA: No worker who has been in continuous service for at least one year shall be retrenched by the employer unless- (b) a copy of the notice is sent to the chief Inspector or any other officer authorized by him and also to the collective bargaining agent in the establishment, if any.
Notification to workers' representatives:
Sec. 20(2)(b) LA: A copy of the notice of retrenchment of a worker who has been employed for at least a year shall be sent to the collective bargaining agent in the establishment, if any.
Approval by public administration or judicial bodies:
Approval by workers' representatives:
Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure):
Sec. 20(4) LA: application of the LIFO ("last in, first out ") rule in the absence of any agreement between the employer and the worker.
Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...):
Priority rules for re-employment:
Sec. 21 LA: preference for re-hiring shall be given to retrenched workers when the employer decides to hire workers within one year from the date of the retrenchment.