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Helping companies cushion the impact of restructuring - 13/12/2013

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EU presents best practices to soften the impact of restructuring and redundancies on workers and social conditions.

Corporate restructuring affects every European country and is a serious concern in the context of the recession. Over 16,000 restructuring operations have been registered in Europe since 2002, resulting in a net loss of over 2 million jobs.

The EU is aiming to buck this trend by introducing a set of best practices for companies, workers, trade unions, employers’ organisations and public administrations.

Following on from a public consultation, the EU has produced guidelines pdf - 164 KB [164 KB] Deutsch (de) français (fr) based on the real experiences of companies. The guidelines address the specific concerns of all the groups involved and suggest how to anticipate restructuring, as well as manage the specific processes.

It is hoped these best practices will help companies better foresee future labour and skills needs, and help workers find alternative employment when redundancies occur. Some specific measures include:

  • strategic long-term monitoring of market developments
  • continuous mapping of jobs and skills needs
  • helping workers with training, career counselling and finding new jobs
  • involving external bodies – public authorities, universities, training centres
  • making full use of EU funds to promote job creation.

As well as providing best practices, the EU plans also aim to help keep companies competitive in the long term. And they take into account the broader industrial and social impact of restructuring on cities and regions affected.

The EU is urging member governments to support and promote these guidelines and consider applying them to public sector employees. A report will be published by 2016 on whether further action, including new EU rules, is necessary.

Commission proposes best practices to cushion the impact of restructuring

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