Developments in the law of collective redundancies after Law 4472/2017

Law No. 4772/2017 recently amended Law 1387/1983, which currently regulates collective redundancies. This is a necessary reform in order to proceed with the assessment of the implementation of the Medium-Term Framework for the Fiscal Strategy.

The law of collective redundancies, until the recent reform, was characterized by the intervention of the administration. Nowadays, 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 for 34 years defined by the Article. 5, par. 3 of Law 1387/1983.

Among the most important changes introduced by Law 4772/2017 is the 90-day limitation period within which the collective redundancy process should be completed from the day that the employer will invite employees to a public consultation while he has also the obligation to comply with the procedure. The role of the Supreme Council of Labor (SCL) is limited to controlling the process regarding employers' obligations and the consultation with employees' representatives as well.

The process of collective redundancies at a national level today, after the amendments, takes place as follows:

  1. From the day on which the employer invites workers to consultation, a 30-day period begins within which consultations must be concluded. Then he is required to submit the minutes of the consultation to the SCL.
  2. Workers can also submit a memorandum on the consultation. In the event of an agreement, collective redundancies shall be made within 10 days beginning of the date the consultation practices were submitted to the SCL.
  3. In the absence of an agreement, the SCL, 'within a 10-day period' from the day on which the practices were presented, concludes with a reasoned decision 'whether the employer's obligations to inform and consult the employees' representatives and the obligation to notify documents have been respected'.

If the SCL considers that all the obligations of the employer have been complied with, the redundancies shall be valid for 20 days from the date of the decision. In any case, the redundancies shall apply 60 days after the notification of the consultation practices. However, if those are caused by a cessation of the business or the holding following a court decision, the above paragraphs 2 and 3 shall not apply.

The legislative regime for the control of collective redundancies has been modified with a view to its harmonization with the corresponding Community legislation. Unlike previous national legislation, Directive 98/59/EU does not provide for the right of the competent public authority to intervene in decisions on collective redundancies, but primarily sets rules of procedure aimed at enhancing worker protection in the event of collective redundancies.

In particular, the employer has the following obligations:

  1. To consult workers' representatives in good time,
  2. To inform employees' representatives of the planned collective redundancies, and
  3. To notify in writing to the competent Public Authority any planned collective redundancy.

The purpose of the Community directive is to ensure that before any planned collective redundancies the employer informs and consults with his employees so that equivalent measures can be found to prevent collective redundancies or reduce their consequences.

 

Valentina Stampouli

Trainee Lawyer 

KREMALIS Law Firm  |  Ius Laboris Greece  |  Global HR Lawyers                          

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