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Royal Decree No. 1483/2012, of October 29, 2012, approving the Regulations on the proceedings of collective dismissals and suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours.

The Royal Decree No. 1483/2012 develops the Law 3/2012, of July 6, 2012, of urgent measures for the labour market reform, which regulates the procedures of collective dismissals and suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours. The outstanding aspects are those related to the consultation period, the information which should be given to the employees' representatives, the actuations of the labour authority during the handling of the file, as well as the employability program and the social support measures taken over by the employer.

The Royal Decree No. 1483/2012 develops the Law 3/2012, of July 6, 2012, of urgent measures for the labour market reform, which regulates the procedures of collective dismissals and suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours. The outstanding aspects are those related to the consultation period, the information which should be given to the employees' representatives, the actuations of the labour authority during the handling of the file, as well as the employability program and the social support measures taken over by the employer.

The collective dismissals proceeding is started with a simultaneous communication from the employer to the labour authority and to the employees' representatives, who should be informed in writing about the opening of the consultation period, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum of the collective dismissals’ causes and, in case of affecting more than 50 workers, the employability program. In that moment the employer will be required to apply for a report from the employees' representatives, before implementing these decisions.

Moreover, the documentation that serves to acknowledge the claimed cause in the explanatory memorandum should be provided. Basically in the economical causes the economical documentation, and in the technical, organizational and productive causes, the technical reports that support the concurrence of the causes arising from the changes should be provided.

In addition, in the cases in which the collective dismissal affects workers of 50 years old or more and the company (or company group) has more than 100 workers, the company should provide the documentation related with the hiring and the termination of employment contracts within the company.

During this early stage, the start of the procedure should be communicated to the labour authority, forwarding: copy of the communication writing and the applied report to the employees' representatives, as well as the attached documentation and the information about the employees' representatives.

Once the early communication is received, the labour authority will transmit it to the management entity responsible for unemployment benefits, to the Inspectorate of Work and Social Security which should send out a report, and to the administration of the Social Security   when the collective dismissal procedure includes workers of 55 years old or more who are not members of a mutual entity on the 1 January 1967, towards which there is an obligation of paying the special social agreement fee.

Subsequently, in the consultation period, an agreement between the employer and the employee’s representatives should be tried. The agreement should consist of the possibilities to avoid or to reduce the collective dismissals and to minimize their consequences by social support measures (employability, professional training, retraining…) for that, all those involved should have complete information about the real situation of the company and should negotiate in good faith.

At this stage, the labour authority will ensure the effectiveness of the consultation period so that, it can submit warnings and recommendations to the parties, perform assistance measures, or acts of mediation, with the purpose of finding solutions to problems of the collective dismissals.