Act on Co-operation Within Undertakings is not just a law on terminating employment

In public dialogue, terminations are often highlighted, which has resulted in co-operation negotiations being often considered as merely termination negotiations. Co-operation negotiations, however, are also a lot more.

The co-operation procedure also addresses the following matters, among others:

  • Adoption of the use of camera monitoring or access control systems
  • Adoption of the use of vehicle location systems in the vehicles of the undertaking
  • The undertaking is considering the use of external labour and the principles of using external labour
  • The undertaking or a part thereof is to cease operations
  • An undertaking location is to be moved to another locale
  • Undertaking operations are to be expanded or reduced
  • Undertaking operations are to be reorganised
  • The undertaking acquires a new device of machinery that has an impact on personnel
  • Adoption of the use of new work methods
  • The undertaking transitions from fixed working hours to flexible working hours or vice versa
  • The undertaking transitions from private offices to an open office floor plan or vice versa
  • The employer is planning actions that may result in laying off, terminating or transitioning labour to part-time agreements
  • Employee responsibilities are to be changed or employees are transitioned to other roles
  • Regular working hours are to be changed

Co-operation negotiations must also address, for example:

  • Principles and practises for hiring
  • Personnel plan and training objectives
  • Principles and practices of internal communication
  • Equality plan
  • Principles on the use of email and the information network
  • Establishment of a personnel fund, the performance or profit bonus system accruing personnel fund contributions and potential changes, discontinuing the system, and dissolution of the personnel fund

When are negotiations not necessary?

Negotiations do not need to be held in the following instances, for example:

  • Changes in undertaking operations that do not impact personnel
  • Use of external labour for work that undertaking employees do not primarily perform (e.g. cleaning)
  • Short-term changes (e.g. shift changes to cover for an absent employee due to illness)
  • Moving a workstation from one floor to another
  • Changes in responsibilities that are agreed on in advance with the employer

Further information: cooperation ombudsman