Applications for EGF support can be made in respect of workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation or as a result of a global financial and economic crises. Each application must provide a reasoned analysis of the link between the redundancies and major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, demonstrated by:
- A substantial increase in imports into the EU;
- A serious shift in EU trade in goods or services;
- A rapid decline of the EU market share in a given sector; or
- A delocalisation of activities to third countries.
Furthermore, the Regulation ordinarily restricts eligibility to redundancy situations involving at least 500 redundancies in a specific company (including suppliers and downstream producers) within a 4 month period, or at least 500 redundancies in a specific sector in a 9 month period. However, in exceptional circumstances applications can be considered where the number of redundancies is not entirely met, when the redundancies will have a serious impact on employment and the local, regional or national economy. EGF applications must specify the number of redundancies that have occurred within the applicable reference period and must be submitted within 12 weeks of the end of that period.
The collective redundancy notice for the company concerned refers to 420 potential redundancies during 2020 as a consequence of the closure of the plant. My officials have sought details on the circumstances leading to the plant closure to clarify if it would come within the scope of the EGF. In the event that a reasoned analysis of the link between the redundancies and globalisation can be demonstrated it would appear that the minimum qualifying number of redundancies within a 4 month period might not be met. Accordingly it would be necessary to consider any exceptional circumstances that apply. In this regard the ILO unemployment rate in Q3 2019 for the Mid-West region at 4.8% was slightly below the national average unemployment rate of 5.2%.
The EGF Managing Authority will continue to monitor developments in relation to the proposed redundancies, particularly the number and timing of redundancies, and their impact on the local, regional and national economy.