Warsaw, Poland

Another Side to Collective Redundancies

By Jeremiasz Kuśmierz, Penteris

The legal framework for collective redundancies was unified across the EU 23 years ago. However, there remain substantial differences between states and as a result, collective redundancies are still rife with challenges and costs.

Outplacement is one such challenge. It includes all potential services and measures facilitating the redeployment of employees made redundant. Outplacement packages can be particularly pricey and oppressive, especially for employers burdened with a drop in revenue caused by COVID.

The directive implemented 23 years ago is frugal with respect to mandatory outplacement services. Collective consultation must at least cover the ways and means of mitigating the consequences of redundancies by recourse to accompanying social measures aimed at aid for redeploying or retraining workers.

Regulations in Poland, for example, do not extend beyond the minimum level of protection, so the employer is not responsible for providing any outplacement programme to employees made redundant, even if this is raised by unions.

Polish law provides for a special regime for redundancies where the employer intends to dismiss more than 50 employees within three consecutive months. Such a redundancy must be flagged to the local Labour Offce. The employer must then consult with the Offce, which is partially responsible for retraining.

This often comes as a surprise to companies from other jurisdictions, where it is typical for all such costs to be borne by the employer.

Although outplacement obligations are not expensive in Poland, due to liberal laws, and amount to only a small proportion of the total costs of collective redundancies, there is much to be said for employers putting more effort into planning outplacement programmes that, in the long run, may provide substantial benefits to the overall collective dismissal by cooling emotions and keeping employees on board during the entire process.

Jeremiasz Kuśmierz

Jeremiasz Kuśmierz

GGI member firm
Law Firm Services
Warsaw, Poland
T: +48 22 257 83 00
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W: penteris.com

Penteris is a European law firm committed to helping clients keep ahead of the market with a mantra of “getting things done” and “building long-term relations”.

Jeremiasz Kuśmierz is focused on new tech and believes it to be the foundation of future business. His global outlook is highlighted by his participation in multinational deals involving China and Europe. He spreads his work across dispute resolution, employment, compliance, and risk management matters.

Published: Employment Law Newsletter, No.10, Spring 2021 l Photo: pzstudio.pl - stock.adobe.com

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