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Employment law at Fource

Kneppelhout lawyers - Employment law at Fource

Employment law at Fource

Drafting and testing of a redundancy plan for the reorganisation, harmonisation of employment conditions after a merger, advice on works councils.

“How do you bring 22 benefits packages, 38 pension plans and more than 10 insurance options into one offer that makes everyone happy?” – Bas Flenter, HR Director at Fource (LKQ).

Making automotive accessible by providing solutions with which car companies can (continue to) serve the market. That is the added value of Fource, a subsidiary of LKQ Europe. With more than 26,000 employees active in 20 countries, it’s the largest automotive aftersales family in Europe. Responsible for distributing parts for cars, commercial vehicles and industrial vehicles.

“In 2013, we were acquired by LKQ Europe”, says Bas Flenter, HR Director at Fource. “A year later we bought our 5 largest customers, and in the following years another 18 companies. We welcomed new people, but we also had to say goodbye to some. The acquisitions resulted in various reorganisations. Kneppelhout provided us with legal assistance for the reorganisation and redundancy plan. Despite the complexity, employment law lawyer Arnold Birkhoff always had a keen eye for our needs.”

The challenge

“How do you bring 22 benefits packages, 38 pension plans and more than 10 insurance options into one offer that makes everyone happy?”

“The principle of reflection, reassignments, drawing up a redundancy plan, working together with the works council: there’s a lot involved in a reorganisation. We wanted to organise it effectively for the company, while not forgetting about the people at the same time.

Expanding the workforce also meant expanding working conditions. To be precise, after the acquisitions, we had 22 more benefits packages, 38 more pension plans and more than 10 different insurance options. How do you harmonise this into a single offer, in a way that satisfies employers and employees?

In addition, there was also the need for reorganisation.” says Bass. “We wanted to organise this effectively, efficiently and with the people in mind. Sometimes, you still see people at a company two years after a reorganisation, all according to the redundancy plan. But how social is that really, both for the departing employees and for those left behind?”

The service

“Whether your job will be kept or will be cancelled, we wanted to provide certainty as quickly as possible and make this concrete in a suitable offer.”

“A redundancy plan that is truly social, that was the aim when we sat down with employment law attorney Arnold Birkhoff and his team. That means quickly providing clarity about the future and quickly defining this in the form of a suitable offer. That speed is pleasant for everyone, nobody wants to be kept in uncertainty for long. Whether your job will be kept or cancelled, every employee was able to decide within three weeks whether he or she agreed with our offer.

Together with Kneppelhout, we achieved a good result. The reorganisation took place in agreement with the works council and was implemented relatively smoothly, taking about four months from the first announcement to the last contract. In the end, 273 people lost their jobs and only one person went to court.

Incidentally, the redundancy plan is still in place and has since been tightened up in line with the latest legislation. Last year, it was concluded again for a period of 3 years.”

The collaboration

“The law is not straightforward. That’s why I’m looking for a employment law lawyer who thinks both from a business perspective and from the law book.”

Bas: “The law is not straightforward. Context always plays a role when applying the law. You can often follow several routes to achieve your goal. That’s why simply listing the rules isn’t a solution. I’ve worked with many law firms and often you have to settle for a formal answer, while I’m looking for a employment law lawyer who comes up with ideas about how I can apply that answer in the context of my organisation and objective. Someone who thinks both from a business perspective and from the law book.”