Successful restructuring measures in Germany, the more so if they result in RIF (reduction in force) proceedings, require very careful preparation, close observation of strict deadlines as well as very diligent processes with regard to works council information and consultation procedures.
In the event that the number of affected staff exceeds the collective dismissal filing requirements, extra care is essential in particular for larger entities and globally operating employers: any formal mistakes by them will result in the terminations being null and void. To make things worse, by the end of last year the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit/ the Agency) introduced new forms and spreadsheets for German employers to fill in and file with the Agency prior to implementing any terminations in the course of mass dismissal.
The relevant dismissal/ termination thresholds for notification of the Agency in the event of mass dismissals – within 30 calendar days – are:
Number of staff Planned Layoffs
21-59 more than 5 employees
60-499 more than 25 employees or 10%
500 or more at least 30 employees
In RIF scenarios of the aforementioned size, the employer must notify the Agency prior to giving notice