Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
No definition of collective dismissal in the LL. The LL establishes a specific regime for closing down the enterprise of reducing its size or activity.
Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives):
Under the LL and the Prime Minister Decree No. 984 of 2003, if contemplating redundancies, the employer must submit a request for closing the enterprise or reducing its size or activity to a committee established for this purpose. In the request to the committee, the employer must provide information including the reasons for the contemplated terminations, and the number and categories of workers likely to be affected (art. 196 and 197 LL). The committee in charge of deciding on such request must consist of a representative nominated by the General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions, a representative of an employers' organisation nominated by the concerned organisation, a technical and economic representative from the General Authority for Investment, and a representative from the National Social Insurance Authority. The chair is the director of the Manpower and Emigration Directorate.
The committee must prepare an argued decision, adopted by a majority vote, within thirty days from the date of the submission of the request. (art. 1 to 4 Decree No. 984 of 2003).
In addition, art. 199 LL provides for mandatory consultation with the trade unions on the criteria for selecting the workers to dismiss if these are not included in the collective agreement in force in the enterprise.
Notification to the public administration:
The administration participates to the committee in charge of deciding on the request for reducing the size of the enterprise or its activity: the concerned director of the Manpower and Emigration Directorate is the chair of that committee, the concerned director of the Labour Relation office is the referendary, the technical and economic representative from the General Authority for Investment, and the representative from the National Social Insurance Authority are members (art. 1 Decree No. 984 of 2003).
Notification to workers' representatives:
- See article 1 Decree No. 984 of 2003: the committee in charge of deciding on the request for closing the enterprise or reducing its size or activity must include a representative nominated by the General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions.
- See also art. 198 LL: The employer must inform the workers and trade unions concerned about the request to the committee and the decision received.
Approval by public administration or judicial bodies:
Within 30 days from the date of the submission of the request, the committee must issue a substantiated decision, adopted by majority of vote and approved by the concerned governor. In case of authorization of dismissals, the committee must indicate the date they become effective (art. 197 LL and art. 3 Decree No. 984 of 2003).
Note that the LL and 2003 Decree establish an appeal mechanism against the committee's decision before the Central Committee for complaints established in the Ministry of Manpower and Emigration.
(art. 198 LL and 4 and 5 of the Decree No. 984 of 2003)
Approval by workers' representatives:
However, a worker's representative sits on the tripartite Committee in charge of approving the employer's request.
The decision must be taken by majority voting and the participation of 3 members out of 4 is sufficient for the vote to be valid. (see above, and see art. 197 LL and art. 3 Decree No. 984 of 2003).
Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure):
If the collective agreement in force in the enterprise does not provide any objective criteria for selecting the workers to dismiss, the employer must consult with trade union representatives. Seniority, family responsibilities, age, vocational abilities, and skills shall be within the criteria that may be drawn upon in this respect. In all cases, the criteria for selection must take into account the interests of both the enterprise and workers (Art. 199 LL)
Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...):
No statutory obligation. However, this might be considered by the Committee when deciding on the employer's request.
In addition, pursuant to art. 201 LL, as an alternative to dismissing workers for economic reasons, the employer is entitled to propose modifications to the employment contract. If the worker refuses it, he/she has the right to leave the enterprise without giving any notice. In this case, the dismissal is deemed lawful and the worker keeps his/her rights to compensation prescribed for dismissals for economic reasons.
Priority rules for re-employment:
In the absence of any specified threshold for the application of those procedural requirements, it may be possible that they also apply to the termination of employment of one redundant worker.