FACTSHEET: Collective redundancy explained

After a challenging year for certain sectors, many organisations are facing the difficult prospect of reorganising their workforces.

For any organisation that is forced to make multiple redundancies, it’s important to check if the reduction in headcount amounts to a collective redundancy.

A collective redundancy has a number of specific technical elements, so we’ve put together this factsheet to provide you with a broad overview.

What is a collective redundancy?

A collective redundancy involves the dismissal for redundancy reasons over any period of 30 consecutive days of at least:

  • Five employees in a workplace normally employing more than 21 and less than 49 employees.
  • 10 employees in a workplace normally employing between 50-99 employees.
  • 10% of the number of employees in a workplace normally employing between 100-299 employees.
  • 30 employees in a workplace normally employing 300 or more employees.

What are the consultation requirements?

If you’re making collective redundancies, you must hold consultations with employee representatives. Consultation must take place no later than 30 days before the first notice of redundancy is issued.

If you fail to complete the consultation procedure correctly, you could be found guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000.

What information must be provided to employee representatives?

You must provide employee representatives with all relevant information concerning the proposed collective redundancies in writing.

This information includes:

  • The reasons for the proposed redundancies.
  • The number, description, or categories of employees proposed for redundancy.
  • The number and description of employees normally employed.
  • The period during which it is proposed to effect the proposed redundancies.
  • The method of calculating any redundancy payments other than those methods set out in the Redundancy Payments Acts or any other relevant enactment.

When does the employer notify the State?

If you’re making collective redundancies, you must also notify the Minister for Social Protection in writing of the proposed collective redundancies at the soonest possible time and no later than 30 days before you issue the first notice of redundancy. A copy of the notification sent to the Minister must be given to the employee representatives as soon as possible.

What are timing requirements of collective redundancies?

You must not issue any notices of redundancy in a collective redundancy situation unless 30 days have passed since the Minister and the employee representatives were made aware of the proposed redundancies and the consultation process has taken place. If you don’t comply with these timing requirements and issue a notice of redundancy before the 30 days have expired, you could be found guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of up to €250,000.

What records do employers need to keep?

You must keep any records relating to the collective redundancies to demonstrate that your business complied with the law on collective redundancies. All such records must be kept for a period of at least three years. Failure to maintain appropriate records could lead to serious consequences. If you’re found guilty of this offence, you will be liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €5,000.

Need our help with your HR issues?

For advice on any HR issue, whether that’s collective redundancy or updating essential employment contracts and policies, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Employer’s guide to lay-offs in Ireland

It’s common for businesses facing a downturn in trade to let employees go on a temporary basis. As an employer, you may also need to […]

Long-term sickness absence: When to conduct an informal welfare meeting

Everyone gets sick, so short-term sickness absence is something all employers will have to deal with from time to time and tends to cause minimal […]

Notice periods: an employer’s guide

Within a business, it’s constantly necessary to re-evaluate and adjust workforce planning. Whether this is due to employees looking for different career paths or the […]

Olga Shevchenko

Director/Advocate, Immigration Advice Bureau

Olga Shevchenko specialises in immigration advocacy and consultancy, in particular, employment permit, visas, family reunification, citizenship, etc, for those seeking to visit, reside or invest in Ireland.

Olga provides extensive information, knowledge, and support to her clients, enabling access to positive solutions for people struggling to handle the immigration law.

Minister Neale Richmond

Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Neale Richmond TD was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Employment Affairs and Retail Business and the Department of Social Protection in January 2023.

Much of his work at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is with businesses, workers, their representative bodies and the State Agencies to ensure that the economic recovery and growth extends to all parts of the country. He works closely with the SME sector, including retail, on building resilience and on the transition to the green and digital economies.

Mark Carpenter

Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Sky

Mark Carpenter is Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs at Sky Ireland. In this role he has responsibility for External and Internal Communications, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs and the company’s ‘Bigger Picture’ (CSR) programme. He also works closely with Sky Group teams on a variety of matters, in particular our partnerships with domestic broadcasters.

Prior to working at Sky, Mark worked as a Policy Officer in Houses of the Oireachtas and as a Management Consultant at Accenture. He has a BA in History from Oxford University and a PhD in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Nora Cashe

Litigation and Compliance Manager, Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Managing Director, Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Senior HR Consultant, Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Chairman, Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.