Collective Dismissal Process in Spain: Negotiate, Litigate, Appeal and Then Negotiate Some More
Vicente Calle, Partner, Garrigues, Spain
Collective redundancies in Spain continue to be conflictual situations both legally and practically as always, but they have now also become a most challenging legal environment. Before the major changes made to Spanish employment laws to address the crisis in 2011 and 2012, collective redundancies were conflictual mainly because of the difficulties involved in the negotiations as such. A very major change that occurred with the labour reform was the removal of the requirement for authorization by the employment authorities in order to actually dismiss the employees. This authorization was easy to obtain if an agreement had taken place between the parties in the negotiation process and most difficult otherwise. Actions against any such authorizations based on an agreement were dealt with in an administrative appeal procedure with very few chances of success. In practice this meant that once a majority agreement was reached, it was unlikely to be overturned. As a consequence, the minority and radical unions who by definition were unwilling to sign agreements did not stand a good chance of succeeding in appealing a majority agreement. In essence, the conflict ended as such when an agreement was reached.
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