The European Court of Justice released its decision in case C-134/22. The case concerns the extent of the employer’s obligation to inform the appropriate authorities in due course regarding collective redundancies. The court held that this obligation does not act as a safety net for the employees.
The facts of the case concern an employee who had been working for a German company for more than 30 years and was informed that, in light of the company’s commencement of insolvency proceedings, the employee was to become redundant. The German firm initiated the necessary proceedings on the day insolvency proceedings commenced. The company consulted the work council on that day and provided it with the necessary documentation. However, it did not supply the German authority with the related documentation until a few months after it had begun discussions with the work council.
The national court requested a preliminary ruling from the ECJ on the following questions:
- Whether the dismissal of the employee is not to be considered null and void since the directive does not provide a penalty for failing to provide the necessary documentation
- Whether the relevant provision is intended to give workers individual protection
The ECJ responded with the following:
- The requirement to provide the relevant information has the purpose of encouraging the employer to provide the authority with as much information as possible so that the authority can understand the circumstances of the collective redundancy.
- The authority should not rely entirely on the specific documentation.
- The authority does not have an active role during the consultation period but only after the actual procedure.
- There is not a specific time bar for providing said documentation to the authority.
- It is not necessary to provide the documentation when the employer is only considering collective redundancies.
- The information is given only for preparatory purposes and does not trigger an obligation that the authority should consider the protection of each employee individually.
Our firm offers advice on all aspects of employment law, from appointment to dismissal. Regardless of whether you are an employer considering collective redundancies or an employee who has been unfairly dismissed, our team can offer you knowledgeable and secure advice. Advising both employers and employees gives us a valuable inside view of the employment relationship and a good understanding of the other side.