Labour/management relations

LA4 Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes

Minimum notice periods, as required by labour legislation, are always adhered to by all of Boliden’s operations. In general, notice periods for significant operational changes are as long as possible, and consultation with employees and relevant parties commence as soon as possible. National legislation and collective agreements set the framework and regulations for how information-sharing and negotiations are to be carried out in connection with operational and organisational changes.

A notice period can vary from weeks to months, depending on the project or proposals, and the urgency with which the required changes must be made. The trade union representatives are continuously updated about the development of the company’s operations and informed before any decisions about significant changes in its operations are made. Where significant changes in company operations are necessary, employees and/or their union representatives are involved in the process from an early stage. 

Below is a description of the minimum notice periods for operational changes or termination of employments in the countries where we have our production facilities.

Finland

National legislation mandates that negotiations with the unions take place before the termination of employees’ contracts. The trade union representatives must also be given written information about the reasons for layoffs, the number of people that might be affected, and to whom the collective agreement is applicable.

If more than ten employees are at risk of being laid off temporarily, the employment authorities must be informed. The minimum negotiation period is six weeks for permanent layoffs or temporary layoffs (more than 90 days). The minimum negotiation period is 14 days in cases of employees being laid off temporarily for not more than 90 days. Notice periods at an individual level are regulated in the collective agreements.

Ireland

Labour legislation states that minimum notice periods for ending employment depend on length of service, and/or shall be written into employment contracts. Minimum notice periods for other issues are not written into collective agreements, but are included in labour legislation.

Norway

The notice period is always related to employment status and ranges from 14 days for new employees on six months’ probation to a notice period of six calendar months for permanent employees with a length of service in excess of ten years and aged 60+.

Sweden

National legislation mandates that the company and the unions must conduct negotiations before significant changes in the operations are decided upon and before employee layoffs can be performed. The trade unions must also be given written information about the reasons for layoffs, the number of people that might be affected and which collective agreements are applicable. If more than five employees are at risk of being subject to layoffs, the regional employment office must be informed. When larger numbers of employees are involved in the potential layoffs, the notice timeframes range from two to six months.

MM4 Number of strikes and lockouts exceeding one week’s duration, by country

During 2016 Boliden did not experience any strikes or lockouts exceeding one week’s duration. Boliden enjoys good relations with the different unions and there is, from Boliden’s perspective, a mutual trust. Boliden supports active cooperation between employers and employees and their respective representatives in every area of shared interest. For a number of years now, the Group has had an agreement with trade union organisations with regard to union-related cooperation at all levels within the Group.

The employees have three representatives on Boliden’s Board of Directors. Boliden also has a Works Council comprising employee representatives from all of the countries in which Boliden operates. At local level, employee representatives/union representatives sit on a number of different councils relating to employee management, production planning, health and safety etc.

The frequency of dialogue ensures a constant flow of relevant information, enabling the unions to understand how Boliden is performing and promoting a two-way dialogue on strategic matters.