Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
1) Within a period of 30 days, at least:
- 10 employees out of a total of 20 to 99 employees;
- 10% of employees, out of a total of 100 to 299 employees;
- 30 employees out of at least 300 employees.
2) Within a period of 90 days, at least 20 employees notwithstanding of the total number of employees.
Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives):
Notification to the public administration:
Art. 98 ERA.
Note : collective dismissal can only take place after at least 30 days have expired from the notification to the Employment Service.
Notification to workers' representatives:
Approval by public administration or judicial bodies:
Approval by workers' representatives:
However, consent is required prior to dismissal of a worker's or trade union representative for economic reasons, except when that worker refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment: art. 113 (1) ERA.
Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure):
Art. 100 ERA lists criteria to be taken into account. These are: worker's education, qualification and capacities, working experience, seniority, job performance, health condition, social condition, family responsibilities. This article does not specify any order in those criteria. However, under the same criteria, priority shall be given to the preservation of the employment relationship of those employees who are in a worse social condition.
Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...):
Art. 99 ERA provides for an exhaustive list of elements to be included in the compulsory "dismissal programme for redundant workers". This includes: measures for preventing or limiting to the highest degree the termination of the employment relationship which requires that the employer checks the possibility of continuing employment under modified conditions (art. 99 (1), second indent ERA).
In addition, the dismissal programme elaborated by the employer must include information on measures such as offer for employment with another employer, assurance of pecuniary aid, purchase of insurance period. (art. 99 (1), fourth indent).
See also art. 97 (2) ERA: the employer consults beforehand with the trade unions to reach an agreement on measures to avoid and limit the number of redundant workers as well as measures aiming at mitigating the adverse affects.
Priority rules for re-employment:
Art. 102 ERA: preferential right to reemployment for one year.