July 2023 – Recent economic and regulatory trends such as high inflation rates and the need to transition to a green economy have pressured employers to consider cost cutting measures. Organisations have various responses with many taking steps to reduce labour costs and/or reallocate resources which may lead to recruitment freezes or even redundancies. These measures come with their legal risks which are greater in some jurisdictions over others.
Although EU legislation sets certain minimum standards for termination of employment and mass lay-offs across all EU Member States, local rules vary widely in terms of timing, costs, employee protection, and litigation risks. In some cases, upskilling or reskilling of employees could be an alternative to lay-offs and could prove to be a better option for adapting the workforce to the new landscape. However, certain legal requirements need to be considered in training contracts which also vary across jurisdictions.
Our map below summarises options for restructuring of personnel and for providing upskilling or reskilling opportunities across a selection of EU and non-EU countries in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.