EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Response service to collective redundancies

Phase: Management
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Last modified: 03 August, 2021
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Response service to collective redundancies


Coverage extends to most situations involving collective redundancies. The thresholds for collective redundancies are:

  • a redundancy of 5 or more employees, when the average number of employees in the company is up to 19;
  • a redundancy of 10 or more employees, when the average number is between 20 and 99;
  • a redundancy of 10% or more of workers, when the average number is between 100 and 299;
  • a redundancy of 30 or more employees, when the average number is at least 300.


Main characteristics

The service is implemented by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF) and it provides employees facing collective redundancy with tailor-made and institutionally-linked services, with the aim of avoiding unemployment or reducing the duration of unemployment. Information is also provided on entitlements to avail of services and unemployment benefits and other social services if needed. Workers are given help in searching for a new job, including information on means of finding jobs, writing CVs, and job interview skills. Other services include individual counselling, job mediation and other individually tailored measures, if required.

The service also provides employers carrying out collective redundancies with adequate and institutionally-linked information (for example information about rights and obligations according to collective redundancy legislation and related information about the procedures involved). Information on redundant workers is also passed on to employers who wish to recruit new workers. As part of the service, meetings can be arranged between potential employers and employees. Meetings with other institutions like social services providers, labour Inspectorate, trade unions could be also arranged if needed.

As part of the implementation of the service, the EUIF also sets up a regional team, consisting of the representatives of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the PES, the labour inspectorate, local municipality and representatives of the employer and employees. This regional team prepares an action plan for each specific case of collective redundancies with a package of specific measures.


  • National funds
  • European funds
  • European Funds (ESF)

Involved actors

National government
Regional/local government
Local government representatives are part of the regional team set up by the EUIF
Public employment services
The EUIF implements and coordinates the response service to collective redundancies and other relevant services including the public employment service.
Employer or employee organisations
Social partners have been involved in the response service to collective redudancies, where relevant or available. Trade unions/employee representatives mostly have the role of mediating information between employees and the EUIF team.
Response service to collective redundancies is co-financed by ESF. Other partners included are the Labour Inspectorate; recently a financial counsellor from the private sector has been included to advise persons on using their savings to prevent them falling into debt. The variety of stakeholders involved depends on the specific case - relevant factors include there is a trade union in the company and the specific needs of the persons made redundant.


No information available.


One of the main strengths of the response service is to offer redundant employees active measures that support their chances to find work, not just financial benefits. The response service offers both group-based and individual measures. Its flexibility may be one of the reasons for its success. It has been recognised that it is not always necessary to involve all partners, in all cases of restructuring. Rather, the composition of partnership and the need for different representatives is determined on a case-by-case basis. 


The outcomes and general effectiveness of the response service have not been assessed since 2007. However, the design of the service, as well as the economic and labour market context, have both changed significantly. In order to evaluate the service's performance during a period of high unemployment, a more up-to-date assessment is required. One of the challenges in terms of implementation concerns the range of partners involved in the service. They are often engaged in other activities, and yet responding to redundancies requires immediate action. Thus, a certain degree of flexibility is demanded from the partners, which is sometimes difficult to achieve.


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