Vilnius District Court, 31 August 2015, No. 2A-2574-232/2015
LITHUANIA - The decision of the Vilnius District Court of 31 August 2015 deals with the right of employee representatives to proper and effective information and consultation within companies. The local trade union (which, in accordance with Lithuanian law, has competence to represent employees in information and consultation procedures) successfully challenged the unilateral decision of an employer to establish a new business structure and reduce the number of employees. Whilst establishing the duty to inform and consult representatives before taking a decision which has substantial effects on the organisation of work in the enterprise and the legal status of the employees (Article 47 (4) of the Labour Code), legislation remained silent on the sanctions and consequences in case of non-compliance with this requirement. Only Article 130-1 of the Labour Code contained a special provision that the non-compliance of an employer with the information and consultation obligation in case of collective dismissal - the dismissal of a single employee shall be declared void.
The Court acknowledged that the provisions of Directive 2002/14/EC filled this gap by introducing new serious consequences for the employer - the decision of the employer was declared null and void. This type of legal consequence for violations of Article 47 (4) of the Labour Code will make the information and consultation procedure more effective and may initiate a new culture of collective relations within an enterprise. However, there is still uncertainty what effect this could have on individual cases of dismissals, if those dismissals were triggered by the annulled decision of an employer.