Changing circumstances in a company that affect employees are subject to change negotiations
Change negotiations refer to negotiations between employer and employees, which must take place when the employer is considering a business decision that, if implemented, would materially change the position of one or more employees.
Substantial changes requiring negotiations include the dismissal, lay-off or shifting to part-time work of even one employee or unilaterally changing an essential condition of their employment contract on financial and production-related grounds.
The obligation to negotiate also includes decisions that materially affect the duties, work-ing methods or the organisation of work, workspace or regular working hours of one or more employees. Therefore, the issues to be discussed in change negotiations may in-clude the transfer of a place of business to another address or the conversion of work premises into an open-plan office.
The Act on Co-operation within Undertakings contains detailed provisions on the initia-tion and content of change negotiations as well as on negotiation periods. Some of these provisions are enforced by civil damages, others by criminal liability.