Individual agreements for staff reductions

It is always possible to reach individual agreements with employees when staffing levels need to be reduced. Targeted individual agreements can reduce the workforce in a socially responsible manner. First approach employees in years close to retirement age about an option to terminate employment early and pay compensation to unemployment benefits until retirement age. Then also approach employees who you believe are readily employable elsewhere and relatively independent to then specifically talk about an individual agreement to terminate their employment contracts. Such individual arrangements can be implemented relatively “quietly.”

In addition, you can make offers to terminate employment contracts to the entire workforce. However, your intention to reduce staff is then known within the company and soon within the corporate environment, and you no longer have a free choice. Employees with good chances of employment elsewhere will contact you, some of whom you actually do not want to do without. It is crucial to handle such a measure sensitively, as it also contributes to a socially acceptable reduction in personnel. If it is to be expected that only a few employees will come forward, a so-called “sprinter bonus” can be advertised, which is additionally transferred to the first x employees who accept the offer.

In any case, involve your employee representatives in such measures right from the start. Explain the necessity to your employee representatives and be open about your intentions. If your company does not have a formal works council, have an employee committee formed to discuss these measures. Involving employees helps everyone involved. As a rule, decisions also become better when different perspectives are incorporated. Take advantage of good training for works councils. You will benefit if you work constructively with your works council.

Individual agreements can help to shape a social selection that may be necessary later. You can also discuss such issues with your employee representatives.

In addition to individual agreements, contractual terminations are of course also an option.


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