Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
Art 51(1) ET:
Termination of employment contracts based on economic, technical, organizational or productive reasons within a 90 day period, affecting at least
- ten workers, in enterprises that employ fewer than 100 workers;
- 10 per cent of the number of workers in enterprises that employ between 100 and 300 workers; or
- 30 workers in enterprises that employ more than 300 workers.
Termination of employment contracts of the undertaking's entire workforce is also considered a collective dismissal provided that the number of workers affected is more than 5.
Art. 51(1) ET.
Law 35/2010 (labour market reform) amended art. 51(1) ET by introducing a definition of economic, technical and organizational and reasons linked to production.
Economic reasons can arise, for instance, when the company demonstrates economic difficulties, in situations such as current or anticipated losses, or a persistent decline in the company's revenues or - as from Royal Decree Law 3/2012 - sales . The same Royal Decree further amended art 51(1) ET specifying that a "persisting decline" arises when a decline in revenues or sales occurs for three consecutive quarters (compared to the previous year's correspondent quarters),
The Labour Market Reform did not however modify the definition of collective dismissal with respect to the number of employees concerned.
Art 51(2) and (4) ET
Royal Decree Law 11/2013 provided for a maximum number (13) of members per party for each negotiating committee and the obligation on the employers' side to provide for accounting and fiscal documentation in addition to the other information (e.g. causes of dismissal, number of employees, number of envisaged redundancies) already to be provided.
Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives):
Art. 51 ET: An employer who intends to carry out collective dismissals must consult the legal representative of the workers. Consultation with the legal representatives of the workers should not last more than 30 calendar days, or 15 days in the case of enterprises with fewer than 50 workers and must cover the reasons for the collective dismissal, alternatives to dismissal and measures necessary to reduce adverse effects on workers.
Notification to the public administration:
Art. 51(2) ET: An employer who intends to carry out collective dismissals must notify the competent labour authority.
Notification to workers' representatives:
Approval by public administration or judicial bodies:
Art. 51 ET.
As from Royal Decree Law 3/2012, approval of public authorities is no longer needed to carry out a collective dismissal.
Approval by workers' representatives:
Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure):
In the event of collective dismissal, workers' representatives will be the last to be dismissed. However, as a result of Royal Decree Law 3/2012, it will be also possible to establish other priority rules through collective agreements, such as for people with family responsibilities, disabilities or people above certain age (art. 51(5) ET).
Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...):
Art 51 ET and Royal Decree 1483/2012 of 29 October 2012.
The consultation process must cover measures aimed at avoiding or reducing the effects of dismissal (art. 51(2) ET).
Since 2012, art. 51(2) includes examples of such measures; it now expressly refers to redeployment, training and re-training.
Priority rules for re-employment: