At least 30 days before the expected date of transfer, the transferor should inform trade unions or, in absence of unions, each employee individually in writing about the expected transfer (i.e. a hard-copy letter, email not being sufficient). The transferee should also inform its own unions or employees in the same way and within the same timeframe about the expected transfer.
Consultation with trade unions is required if the transferor or transferee envisages measures affecting the conditions of employment of the transferred employees. The consultation should last at least 30 days with the purpose of reaching an agreement. If no agreement is reached, this does not stop the transfer or the envisaged measures.
The works council, where one exists, should be informed and consulted before the decision about the transfer is made. The consultation procedure should be completed before the decision.
The transfer may also be subject to information and consultation procedures with the European Works Council.
There are no specific rules on what information must be provided to works councils, though it must be sufficient to enable them to issue an opinion on the transfer.
A consultation procedure should be performed with any trade unions operating within an undertaking, but only if the transferor or the transferee intends to take ‘measures related to employment’ in the context of the transfer. If so, the parties should commence negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement.
The transferor or transferee must also consult with the works council. This involves: