Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
Dismissals affecting at least, within a month:
- 6 employees in businesses or undertakings with 20 to 150 employees
- 5% of the workforce and up to 30 employees in businesses or undertakings with over 150 employees.
These thresholds were established by Article 74(1) of Act 3863/2010 in July 2010.
[Prior to the reform, the definition of collective dismissal was set, as follows:
Dismissals affecting at least, within a month:
- 4 employees in undertakings with 20 to 200 employees
- 2 to 3% of the workforce but not more than 30 employees in one month in undertakings with over 200 employees
See art. 1, para. 2 of Act 1387/1983, amended by art. 9 of Act 2874/2000.
Note: the percentage and maximum number of employees to be dismissed in order to trigger the procedure for collective dismissal was set every six months by ministerial decision. For the first semester 2009, it was set at 2% with a maximum of 30 employees]
Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives):
Act 1387/1983, art. 3 and 5.
The consultation period shall last 320 days from the date of notification to the workers' representatives (art. 5(1)). During the consultation process, the parties must examine ways to avoid dismissals or reduce their number or adverse effects (art. 3(1)).
Following consultation, the employer must notify their outcome to the Supreme Labour Council. (The Supreme Labour Council is a special committee within the Ministry of Labour, which consists of an equal number of representatives from the State, the employees' associations and the employers' associations, see Art. 25(3) (7B) of the Presidential Decree. 368/1989)
If the parties reach an agreement, the employer can proceed with the collective dismissals, according to the terms of the agreement, after a 10-day period (art. 5(3)).
If the parties do not reach an agreement, the Supreme Labour Council (SCL) must determine whether the employer has fulfilled all of his or her obligations to consult with the worker representatives and to notify the authorities. If it finds that the obligations have been fulfilled, the employer can proceed withthe collective dismissals after a 20-day period. If the SCL finds that the obligations have not been fulfilled and that more consultations are necessary, it can extend the consultation period or set the employer a deadline to fulfill his or her obligations (art. 5(3)). However, in any case, the dismissals must be declared valid if no agreement is reached within 60 days after the SCL has first been notified by the employer.
The above consultation procedure is not necessary in cases in which the business activities of the employer have been stopped or are withheld by a court order (art. 5(4)).
Notification to the public administration:
Law 1387/1983, Art. 3(1) imposes an obligation on the employer to submit to the prefecture and the competent labour inspectorate copies of the documents stipulated in art. 3(2), i.e. the documents addressed to the workers' representatives, which contain information concerning the reasons for dismissals, the number and categories of workers that may be subject to redundancy, the number and categories of persons normally employed at the undertaking or establishment during the time of the dismissals, and so on. Art. 3(3) also provides that if the undertaking or establishment has subsidiaries in different administrative regions, the relevant documentation should be submitted to the Minister of Labour and the labour inspectorate that is located where all or most of the dismissals are due to take place. The notification of the documents to the public authority aims at the provision of all necessary information concerning the dismissals. Importantly, Law 1387/1983 does not stipulate that the public authority has the right to intervene during the actual consultation between management and the workers' representatives, or to identify solutions for the avoidance or reduction of dismissals. When the consultation process between management and the workers' representatives is concluded, the minutes are submitted by the employer to the Prefect or to the Minister of Labour, in line with art. 3(3) of Law 1387/1983 (see art. 5(1)).
In January 2014, the SLC unanimously decided that in order for it to formulate a “motivated opinionu201d on the employer's decision on planned collective dismissals, it should proceed to examine the dossier containing the information on the enterprise, the collective dismissal plan and the consultation minutes as well as any other accompanying elements.238 The January 2014 Decision also outlines the elements of these documents in greater detail. The dossier on the enterprise includes its financial and economic situation during the last three years, information on the workforce and the reasons for the necessity to proceed to collective dismissals. The collective dismissal plan must contain references to the number of employees to be dismissed, the criteria for the selection of the employees under the plan, the timeline for the implementation of the dismissals and proposed measures to mitigate the consequences of the dismissals. Finally, the consultation minutes must make reference to the location and time of the meetings, the participants, the information provided by the employer, the information on any proposals submitted by the workers' representatives, and the outcome of the consultation. As the SLC is not a legislative body, the content of Law 1387/1983 has not been amended by the SLC Decision. As such, the Minister or Prefect retains the power to prohibit or authorize the dismissals in cases where the parties fail to reach an agreement. However, the Decision has put renewed emphasis on the role of the SLC under art. 5(3) of Law 1387/1983. (Source: Report on collective dismissals: A comparative and contextual analysis of the law on collective redundancies in 13 European countries /Nicola Countouris, Simon Deakin, Mark Freedland, Aristea Koukiadaki, Jeremias Prassl; International Labour Office. – Geneva: ILO, 2016 https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---ed_dialogue_msu/documents/publication/wcms_541637.pdf)
Under the Law No. 4472/17 (2017), the body responsible for collective redundancies is the Supreme Council of Labour (SCL) and its Department for the Control of Collective Redundancies, with equal tripartite representation of the state, employees and employers.
Notification to workers' representatives:
Act 1387/1983, art. 3: the employer must inform the workers' representatives of the proposed collective dismissal, indicate the reasons for it and provide other information as required by the law (i.e the number and categories of employees concerned, the criteria used to select the employees, the period over which the collective dismissal will be carried out).
Approval by public administration or judicial bodies:
Law No. 4772/2017 recently amended Law 1387/1983. As a result, collective redundancies, following the failure of the consultations, take place without the approval of the administration, since the Prefect or the Minister of Labor has no right to extend consultations or submit a veto for all or part of the planned redundancies, as it was defined before by Art. 5 (3) of Law 1387/1983.
Approval by workers' representatives:
Act 1387/1983, art. 5: No approval is required as such: If the parties reach an agreement, the employer can proceed to the collective dismissals according to the terms of the agreement after a 10 day period. However, if no agreement is reach, the competent public authority will issue a decision on the collective dismissals within 10 days, allowing or rejecting partly or wholly the proposed dismissals.
Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure):
No rules on the determination of selection criteria in the legislation reviewed. Selection criteria are only referred to in art. 3(2) of Act 1387/1983 as part of the information to be transmitted to employee's representatives within the framework of the notification and consultation process.
Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...):
Employers can draft a social plan but do not have to (art. 3(4) of Act 1387/1983; art. 3(4) of Act 1387/1983). The consultation process shall address ways to avoid dismissals or reduce their number or adverse effects (art. 3(1), Act 1337/1983, art. 3(4) of Act 1387/1983)
Priority rules for re-employment: