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How are employees affected by economic redundancy selected?

Verified 06 February 2020 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Labor

The employer who establishes a procedure for dismissal on economic grounds without total closure of the undertaking must designate the employee or employees affected by the dismissal. This choice is made on the basis of criteria that determine the order of dismissals.

The criteria determining the order of redundancies shall apply to all employees of the undertaking.

In the event of economic dismissal, the employer may establish a job safeguard plan (PSE)..

The PSE may provide that only employees of a part of the undertaking will be affected by redundancies.

Economic Redundancy without PSE

If the employer does not have an obligation to establish a PSE, an agreement must be reached at the enterprise level (or higher). The agreement may provide that only a part of the employees of the undertaking is affected by the economic redundancy procedure. For example, it may only be employees of one or more institutions..

Economic redundancy with PSE

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PES established by collective agreement

The collective agreement may provide that only a part of the employees of the undertaking are affected by the economic redundancy procedure. For example, it may only be employees of one or more institutions..

PES established by a unilateral document

In the absence of a collective agreement, the employer shall draw up a document unilateral..

This document may provide that only a part of the employees of the undertaking is affected by the economic redundancy procedure.

In this case, the choice of the dismissed employees shall be made within each area of use defined byInsee: titleContent, within which jobs may be lost.

If more institutions of the enterprise are located in the same area of employment, the employees dismissed are chosen from all the establishments.

Criteria defined by collective agreement or agreement

If the criteria for determining the order of dismissals are laid down by collective agreement or agreement applicable to the undertaking, they shall be binding on the employer.

Employer-defined criteria

In the absence of criteria laid down in the collective agreement or agreement, the employer shall be responsible for defining them, after consulting the Social and Economic Committee..

It must then take into account all the following:

  • Family expenses of the employee, in particular those of isolated parents
  • Employee's seniority in the establishment or undertaking
  • Any situation which makes it particularly difficult for older or disabled employees to return to work
  • Professional skills assessed by category (speed and versatility in the performance of tasks)

Additional criteria can be added to this list.

The employer may choose one of these criteria, provided that all other criteria are taken into account.

It must take all these criteria into account, even if it makes an individual dismissal on economic grounds.

Prohibited criteria

The employer may not terminate employment on the basis of discriminatory criteria..

It is also not possible to dismiss an employee solely because he is working part-time, rather than a full-time employee working in the undertaking in similar functions.

Within 10 days of leaving the undertaking, the dismissed employee may ask the employer for the criteria used to justify his designation.

He shall make a written request:

  • by hand delivered letter against discharge,
  • by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt (LRAR).

The employer must reply to him, under the same conditions, within 10 days of the delivery or presentation of the letter.

Failure to comply with the redundancy criteria shall cause the employee an injury entitling him to benefit from damages..

The employee can then seize the prud'homme council..

Filing of application

The application is sent to the registry of the council of prud'hommes by mail (recommended or not).

It is addressed only by query, i.e. a claim made to the judge for the purpose of settling a dispute with the employer.

Who shall I contact

The application must contain the following elements:

  • Contact details of the applicant (name, first name, address...)
  • Contact information defendant (against whom the application is made)
  • Subject of the application
  • Summary statement of the reasons for the application, which includes all of the applicant's claims (amounts claimed)

To make his application, the employee must fill out the application form for the purpose of referral to the labor council.

Application for referral to the Prud'homme Council (CPH) by an employee

A copy of the application shall be sent to the counsel of prud'hommes, to which shall be added an equivalent number of copies as defendants.


Referrals to the council of prud'hommes are free of charge.