In difficult financial situations, employers bear responsibility for their workers. Employers have to notify the responsible cantonal employment office of any mass redundancies and plant closures. This should be done as soon as possible, but by no later than the time at which the redundancies are announced.
A mass redundancy is said to occur when the number of redundancies exceeds a certain limit; these are defined as follows:
- from 10 people in companies with more than 20 and less than 100 employees
- from 10% of employees in companies employing at least 100 and fewer than 300 people
- from 30 people in companies with 300 employees or more
The employer is legally required to report redundancies or plant closures that affect at least ten employees (Art. 53 RecO). It should be noted that in some cantons the obligation to report starts from six dismissals.
The redundancy programme is an appropriate means of alleviating the economic impact of mass redundancies for those affected. It allows employers to establish trust and transparency and proves their social responsibility, even in difficult situations. Most collective employment agreements provide for negotiations on the consequences in the event of plant closures or mass redundancies. However, company measures can also be agreed on a voluntary basis.
Further information and contacts
The competent cantonal office can provide information on the process to follow in the case of impending redundancies and plant closures.