Term used to refer to the procedure laid down by law which employers are required to follow before carrying out collective dismissals (Massenkündigungen, also called Massenentlassungen) to give the Employment Service advance warning of their intention.

Any employer planning workforce reductions must send written notification of the fact to the relevant local employment office if, within a given period of 30 days, the planned reduction is to affect at least 5 employees in establishments regularly employing 21-99 employees, at least 5% of the workforce in establishments with 100-600 employees or at least 30 employees in establishments with over 600 employees (or, irrespective of the size of the establishment, at least 5 employees aged over 50). A copy of the notification must be forwarded to the works council, which must be consulted on the matter.

If the employer fails to send such notification to the Employment Service or proceeds with dismissals before a period of 30 days has elapsed from the date of notification, the dismissals concerned are null and void. The purpose is to give the employer, Employment Service and works council time to explore all possibilities for maintaining the workforce at its existing level or mitigating the effects of any dismissals eventually carried out.

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.